“I had an early puncture in my front tyre that the team car helped me change and [got] my timing chip swapped,” she said in her post.
“Then I worked flippin’ hard for 4km on my own in that wind to get back to the bunch with Linc [Cycle Nation team manager Lincoln King] driving our team car just far enough in front for me to not get much slip.”
Van de Winkel added that she did not understand at the time why he did not let her motorpace back. She also felt like this was not an advantage to her in any way.
“I didn’t know it is against the rules as we have done this often after a mechanical or puncture.
“So I initiate the break and get second in the sprint only to be told at the end that they had disqualified me. Why not say something on the radio earlier? Why the pettiness? But that was that; they were not open for debate.”
“Even with this great win there’s a bit of ‘sadness’ to the way we are treated as riders. We always have to stick to the rules and regulations.
“Remember people/managers/officials/comms this is Africa, we are not pro riders, we are here to enjoy it. It’s hard enough having to work full time, be parents and still ride a bike. We are in it for the love of the sport.
“There’s only a few riders, the more cars the better safety for us and to motorpace someone back that actually has the potential to get back by herself is to make sure she is safe.”