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Anriette still on song
- Updated: June 7, 2011
Former Olympian and eight-time South African champion, Anriette Schoeman, showed that she’s still one of the country’s strongest female racers when she won the overall title at the 175km Kremetart Tour in Louis Trichardt at the weekend.
The 33-year-old Port Elizabeth resident, who races for the Nashua Toyota professional team, won Stages One and Four of the four-stage race and helped her teammates, Robyn de Groot and Joanna van de Winkel win a stage each too.
ÔÇ£It was a day of hard racing! You don’t get to race 175km in one day very often,ÔÇØ said a satisfied Schoeman. ÔÇ£It’s just a pity more of the pro women’s teams weren’t here. There isn’t a very busy racing calendar in the winter and it’s really important to support the events that are on the calendar this time of the year.ÔÇØ
Schoeman rode clear of the front group on Stage One to secure the early lead by three seconds. From then on, it was a matter of defending that lead, which the three Nashua Toyota riders did with precision.
ÔÇ£One of the country’s top triathletes, Andrea Horak, put in a good challenge in the first two stages. But most of the women struggled on the last two stages, not used to that kind of distance and intensity combined. I was also against the ropes a bit on the final stage, but fortunately Robyn looked after me and got me to the finish line first.ÔÇØ
In the final overall standings, De Groot placed second and Van de Winkel third, giving the team a podium clean sweep.
Missing from the team’s line-up were Lynette Burger and Ashleigh Moolman Pasio. Burger, the team captain, crashed recently and fractured her elbow and wrist, while Moolman Pasio is currently racing in Europe.
Along with Moolman Pasio, De Groot and Van de Winkel are also members of the South African Olympic squad and will head to Europe next month to compete in a series of international races in an effort to score rankings points and become better conditioned to the higher racing intensity. But before they go, they’ll compete in the Midvaal Tour for Veterans and Women from 16-19 June just south of Johannesburg.
ÔÇ£At the Midvaal Tour the women race with the men, which always ensures hard racing. It will be a great way for Robyn and Joanna to fine-tune their conditioning before they head to Europe,ÔÇØ explained Schoeman, who says that although she’s not in the current Olympic squad, she still has a lot of racing left.
ÔÇ£I’m still able to contest race wins in South Africa and if I do get a chance to race internationally, I’ll grab it with both hands. I love racing and am pleased to see the improvements in South African women’s racing over the past few years, even with relatively limited support, most of which comes from sponsors.ÔÇØ