“I’ve worked hard to get ready for this race,” Schoeman told In the Bunch afterwards. “I came here to get a good result and I’m really stoked to have pulled it off.
She won in 2:59:56, with Candice Lill second in 2:59:57 and Lucy James third in exactly three hours.
“I was ill before last year’s race, so I was always up against it. The girls rode me off on the last climb and my confidence took a bit of a knock.”
The Africa Silks-Bestmed rider, who represented South Africa at the world road championships in 2001, 2006, 2008 and 2010, said the race had been fast from the outset.
“The pace was brutal. Candice and Lucy are both very good climbers. I knew Candice, especially, was going to give me a hard time so I tried to reserve some energy. It played out well.
“I was concerned that Candice would be too strong, as she was last year, and ride me off on the final climb.
“I tried my best to stay with her and, fortunately, I was able to do it,” Schoeman said.
“I knew my legs were good for a sprint because I had been working on my sprinting. In the end I managed to outsprint her in the last 100 metres.”
Schoeman, 40, will now turn her focus to the dirt as she intends to compete in the J Bay Wind Farm MTB Classic on July 14.