Swart says our cyclists can still make podium | SASCOC - SASCOC

Swart says our cyclists can still make podium

By Mark Etheridge

Carla Swart, our top-placed cyclist in the women’s road race at the Commonwealth Games, still has high hopes of a South African podium finish at a major race in the future.

Swart placed eighth in New Delhi on Saturday. This after having finished 10th in the UCI world road championships in Melbourne, Australia a week earlier.

Despite her recent success though, Swart was not exactly happy. “I found the race to be a bit frustrating. Our women raced well and we did what we could, but the result is not what we hoped for. I’m not satisfied with eighth place at all. I’m sure it’s the best our women have ever done at Comm Games though, I don’t like settling for that – I wanted us to win, medal at the least,” she said on Monday.

“Our best bet was to get a girl in a break-away. I went with the moves the first half of the race, but Australia kept bringing back the breaks. We tried getting Cherise and the other girls in moves as well, though they were brought back just the same. Australia and England wanted to keep things together for a sprint finish. They had the power and numbers to win in such a way.”

Swart, now based in the United States but originally from George in the Southern Cape, said the course had also not suited the South Africans. “It was dead-flat unfortunately and our women are stars on hilly courses.”

She’s also extremely positive about the future. “This race made a big statement of how important teamwork is. Our teamwork was good, and the girls were great, though we need to work on lead-outs for the finish. Once we can execute our lead-outs we will podium for sure.”

Swart also bemoaned the attrition rate. “Unfortunately Marissa crashed out during the race so we were one short (two if you count Ashley [Moolman Pasio] who couldn’t start due to a broken collarbone.”