“I’m really happy with my win,” she told In the Bunch after the race. “It was special. It is really good for the sponsors and there is so much media hype around it.
“It means a lot winning and I’m really excited for what is next for me.”
Matthee said the race started at a “sedate pace”, but she and her Ciovita teammate Hazel Magill soon decided to shake things up.
“We wanted to go to the front to make the other girls work. The objective was to create a contest from early on, before the climbs.
“It worked out pretty well. Hazel did an awesome job.”
When they hit the climbs, Matthee said, Anriette Schoeman started to attack.
“She just attacked one after the other and really put the hammer down. She tried to shake the other riders and break the field up.
“We [Matthee and Magill] got back every time on the attacks and us three kept on cresting the climbs. The chasing bunch of four or five riders would rejoin us and eventually there were seven or eight of us riding in a pace line.”
Schoeman put in another big attack on the Maitland climb, Matthee said. “Only Kelsey [van Schoor] and I were able to follow. Schoeman managed to take the Queen of the Mountain.”
With five kilometres left, Matthee said she made sure she positioned herself well. “I wanted to stay on the favourite’s [Schoeman] wheel and with one kilometre to go it was kind of a drag race.
“I stayed on Anriette’s wheel until the last 50 metres, where I just managed to kick past her.”
Matthee said winning the race after coming second at the SA National Championships Road Race three weeks ago was important for the season ahead.
“It meant a lot putting Ciovita on the map. The team is still growing and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.
“We hope to try to pull off more wins and get more sponsors involved.”
Ciovita is currently a three-member team comprising Matthee, Magill and Ashleigh Parsons.