It was an emotional win for Ashleigh Moolman Pasio in the women’s road race at the SA national road championships in Pretoria today because she was still recovering from an allergic reaction she suffered prior to the time-trial on Thursday.
“It was quite a traumatic experience on the first day. I had a really bad allergic reaction to something I had before the race and it was actually quite a scary experience,” Moolman Pasio said.
“It was emotional crossing the finish line today.”
She added that it was worth it to compete and have a go at the title despite not feeling completely well.
“It was a great race and course today. It was a bit technical, which was really great.”
Juanita Venter of Cycle Nation, who placed second, led for most of the race.
Moolman Pasio then started chasing Venter, without taking anyone from the bunch across. She managed to close the gap to the race leader.
“I was surprised to get away already at the Union Buildings on the second to last lap.
“A huge congratulations to Juanita. She had me worried for a moment because that gap was just not coming down. So that’s when I decided I can’t leave it until the last lap. I had to go earlier.”
Moolman Pasio said it was always difficult for her as she knew everyone looked at her as the full-time professional and European pro. So it was “kind of up to” her to make the racing.
“That’s a difficult place to be when you’re all on your own.
“Hats off to Cycle Nation for making the racing today. There were times when back in the peloton it was very slow and felt negative. Thankfully I kept my cool and played it calm.”
“I’ve been keeping a little eye on her and seeing these results creeping through with her wins at the KZN champs.
“She’s a wonderful, driven and motivated person and I hope to see her in Europe.”
The 33-year-old Moolman Pasio, who was crowned the road race champion from 2012 to 2015, said it was special to win the title again after a break of several years.
“I wasn’t here last year and the year before that I was just coming back from an injury. The year before that I was sick, so it’s really great to win it.”