Inadequate communication by Cycling South Africa and having to bear the total cost of the trip have been blamed for this sad state of affairs.
Oberholzer, who rides locally for Demacon, was originally selected alongside the internationally renowned Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, but she has since decided against going due to a “combination of factors”.
The Clarens local is arguably the best local woman cyclist in the country, but she said she was not able to represent SA at the world champs largely due to the cost of the trip.
“The cost obviously was a big factor [in her decision]. The trip is entirely self-funded,” Oberholzer told In the Bunch today.
“That involves our flight tickets, accommodation, meals and we were even required to buy our own national kit.”
Oberholzer won the national road champs in Oudtshoorn in February. Claiming a national title generally grants one automatic selection to represent one’s country.
However the sport’s governing body, Cycling SA, only notified her that she was on the long list in June.
Oberholzer then only received confirmation from the federation on August 21 that she was selected, before they provided further details on the trip just last week.
She described the course, a 90km stretch plus three laps of a 24km circuit totalling 162km, as “brutal”.
“Had I known or been notified well in advance that I was definitely going to go I could’ve started my preparation much sooner.
“The course is definitely brutal and if I had the ideal preparation then I would stand a chance of at least having a decent race.
“At this point the cost [of the trip] would simply not warrant the time I’ve had to prepare for the race.
“I do not want to pay that sort of money just to say ‘I was at worlds’. If I go I want to make a meaningful contribution to the racing and assist Ashleigh the best way I can.”
She said communication between her and Cycling SA had been “very limited” throughout the process.
“I only received an email from them [Cycling SA] where they detailed all the costs involved and saying I should let them know when our arrival and departure dates would be.
“That was it. There was no communication pertaining to whether any management or mechanic of any kind would come with us.
“Logistically, it didn’t add up. When you go to worlds you cannot not have a support car.
“If there is a support system going, then I’m not aware of it. That wasn’t communicated to me.”
She added that she did not want to go to the event and “only last for half of the race because I wasn’t able to prepare properly”.
“I want to be able to compete and at this stage that simply won’t be possible,” Oberholzer added.
Oberholzer said that earlier in the year she had prepared “super hard” for the Commonwealth Games in April only for Cycling SA and Sascoc to not even send a women’s team – also notifying the riders at short notice.
“That was a big disappointment,” she said. “That’s why when I was even on the long list for worlds [two months ago], I wasn’t able to prepare solely for the event without the certainty that I would even go.”