Moolman-Pasio just missed making the podium in the Tour of Flanders, a race she described as a “big highlight on the calendar”.
“It was literally one of the hardest races, if not the hardest, on the cycling calendar,” she told In the Bunch.
“It is always a big focus for the team [Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling] and I was happy with my top-10 finishes in both races heading into the Tour of Flanders.
“I was confident I was in good form. There was potential for a good result and we as a team went in with the objective to win,” she added.
Moolman-Pasio said her team did a good job in protecting her throughout the race. “They rode really well together as a unit and covered me in the early breakaways.
“Because it was very rainy and wet it was much more dangerous than in previous years. Roads were wet and slippery making the cobbles tricky, so it was important to have a good bunch positioning.”
She focused on staying near the front of the bunch and “out of danger”, Moolman-Pasio said.
“I wanted to do that without doing too much work and I feel like I executed it perfectly throughout the race. I often have in the past spent too much energy trying to get to the front.
“It was important to not get too excited too early and to remain patient. In terms of that I feel like it was one of the best races in my career in executing the team strategy.
“There was a massive crash in the bunch heading towards the final part of the race and fortunately I was in a good position and avoided it.”
Moolman-Pasio said the key point of the race was the Oude Kwaremont, where racing got “crazy”.
“After Anna [van der Breggen] made a break before the Oude Kwaremont no other teams gave chase, almost as if they were happy to settle for second place.
“So more riders came from behind before we hit Kwaremont and it got quite crazy because it is quite a fast downhill road.
“It was quite hair-raising and stressful and the bigger riders had the advantage on the downhill, so I really had to stay calm and stick to my strategy.
“Somehow I managed to find myself in a good position and then I just put the hammer down. I just kept driving it and kept going.”
In the final sprint she was almost sure she would make it onto the podium, before getting beaten by centimetres by Annemiek van Vleuten, she said.
“I had put in such a huge effort throughout the race to try and go for the win that I was highly motivated to give it one last go.
“As the sprint launched and opened up I had good positioning and I was convinced I could at least finish third, but in the last centimetres Annemiek managed to pip me.
“It was a bit disappointing to finish fourth and off the podium after putting in such a big effort, but I was happy with my achievement and proud of giving it everything.
“It has given me confidence moving forward,” she added.