South African Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio finished third in stage two of the women’s Tour of California cycling race that finished atop Mount Baldy, close to the eastern border of Los Angeles, yesterday.
The CCC-Liv rider moved from sixth to third overall after finishing the 74km stage in 2:37:12.
She said afterwards in an Instagram post that she was happy to finally be on the podium again.
“Two weeks ago, after an MRI scan of my back, ‘the doctor told me three weeks off the bike’. This felt like a death sentence to me at the time,” she said.
She then discussed the matter with her coach and team doctor. They decided to let her take one week off to refresh and try to build up her strength.
So her third-place finish was “almost as sweet as victory”, she said, and she felt confident things were again moving in the right direction.
Moolman-Pasio, who finished fifth in stage one, was right behind Boels Dolmans Cycling Team’s Katie Hall and Anna van der Breggen after they took the lead on the steepest part of the climb up the mountain.
The pair came over the summit together to give Hall (2:36:39) her first stage win of the year. World champion Van der Breggen finished second in the same time.
Van der Breggen, who hails from the Netherlands, increased her overall lead and will start the third and final stage in Pasadena 29 seconds ahead of Hall, from America, and with an advantage of one minute and six seconds over Moolman-Pasio.
See Moolman-Pasio’s Instagram post below.
View this post on Instagram
So happy to finally be on the podium again @amgentoc. Two weeks ago, after an MRI scan of my back, the doctor told me three weeks off the bike … this felt like a death sentence at the time. After some discussion with my coach and team doctor, we decided to take one week off … refresh, reset and try to build up slowly again. Third place today was almost as sweet as victory. Feeling confident things are on the up! 📸 @jeffclarkphotographs . . . #cycling #cyclinglife #cyclingphotos #HowWeLiv #RideForMore #livforward #team #teamwork #together #strong #california #climbing #explore #happy #mountains #motivation