The Cycle Nation rider executed an unplanned move when she broke away from the bunch within the first three laps of the 13-lap 136km race.
Contrary to what many people thought, Venter said the move she made was unexpected from the outset, with the team only strategising to launch any possible attacks much later on in the race.
“It was a soft move that got away and when I noticed that the bunch wasn’t giving chase I worked on the strategy that we planned for only later on,” Venter told In the Bunch today.
“I just went to the front to try and reduce the bunch a bit. I wanted to pick up the pace and stretch the bunch out.
“Then when I looked again I suddenly had a 25-second gap and it just kept on growing.”
The 42-year-old said her gap eventually grew to around four minutes.
This, she felt, had alleviated pressure on her teammates Joanna van de Winkel, Michelle Benson, Cashandra Slingerland and Zanri Rossouw.
“On the flats, downhills and just past the feeding zones I would ride fast and within my abilities.
“I realised the bunch would try to attack on the uphills but once they got to the feeding zones they would sit up and that’s when I then went [faster],” she said, explaining how she made up time in her break.
“I did the whole strategy in reverse to what they did and that actually worked to my advantage.”
The Delmas local said she was surprised she wasn’t caught sooner.
“My teammates rode the perfect race where they just sat on and controlled the racing.
“Joanna has an amazing ability to climb and she made a move at the right time. Everything worked out perfectly.” Van de Winkel subsequently finished third.
With just two laps to go, Venter was still in front by herself and at that point she realised a win might be possible.
Sadly she suffered two mechanicals where her chain came loose and this delayed her by a few seconds.
But she admitted that wasn’t the reason Moolman Pasio caught her with approximately 12km left.
“It might have looked that way, but Ashleigh is world-class. When she decided to go she could have easily closed the gap.
“She would’ve caught me anyway.”
She was also crowned world veteran ITT champ at the World Slovenia Ljubljana Champs in 2014.
Having ridden solo for the majority of the race on Saturday, Venter said she used her ITT skills and perseverance to stay away until the end.
“Time-trialling is probably 80 per cent in your head because you need to keep on believing you can do it.
“What I’ve learnt is that you can do much more than you’ve ever imagined once you get in that position.”