Heidi Dalton is looking forward to defending her title at the SA National Road Championships 121km road race in Oudtshoorn tomorrow.
However, she fell victim to food poisoning late last week and was still feeling its effects early this week.
“I was feeling quite sick and weak for a few days. I wasn’t even able to step onto my bike,” she told In the Bunch.
“I’m not too sure where I stand [health-wise], but I’m determined to defend my title. I will do the best I can.
“If I don’t win, I would like one of my Demacon teammates (Lynette Burger and Carla Oberholzer) to get the title,” she added.
She feels confident her team will do well. “My two teammates both have a good chance of winning,” Dalton said.
“It’s good to know that I have strong support outside of me, especially if I don’t feel up for it on the day.”
Dalton was beaten into second place by her teammate Burger on the line at the Fast One Cycle Race two weeks ago, so she feels her form may still hold.
“I think my form is still there. I felt very good during the Fast One. I’m just hoping my form has not dropped off too far and that I will be OK for the race.
“I’m feeling OK now, but training is never the same as racing so I will just have to see how the race goes.”
The heat, she predicted, would be something to adapt to during the race. “The route is very out in the open, so it will be very hot.
“I learnt from last year when it was also extremely hot in Wellington that it is important to keep hydrated and maintain your levels of nutrition,” she added.
Dalton identified a few riders to watch out for on race day.
“I heard Ashleigh will not be taking part this year, so for me the biggest threats will be Jo van der Winkel and Yzette Oelofse,” she said.