Steyn stands tall | SASCOC - SASCOC

Steyn stands tall

By Mark Etheridge

To say that Andrea Steyn stamped her authority on the 2011 BSG-Energade Series would possibly be the understatement of the triathlon year.

The saying goes “Six of the Best” but the little Pretoria athlete went one better, dictating terms, dominated races and defeating all-comers from race one at Roodeplaat Dam, Pretoria to the seventh and final race in Vanderbijlpark on Sunday.

And to think that she referred to her year as “disappointing”. One can only wonder what she’ll call a good year from here on in! Steyn won all seven of the races and the R15 000 she took as overall winner was nothing less that she deserved.

On Sunday she came out of the swim 15 seconds behind All Africa Games champion Carlyn Fischer. The two slugged it out on the bike ride and when they hit the second transition area Steyn had chopped all but a second of that lead.

So it was left to the run where Steyn’s pace proved too much as she covered the 5km in 19:04 to the 20min by Fischer.

That saw her clock a combined time of 64min 40sec to Fischer’s 65:35.

“I’m so happy to have won seven out of seven races,” Steyn told Road to London 2012 this week, “and that after a very disappointing year ÔÇô this really made up for some of the lows.” Steyn was laid low by illness and injury for a large part of the year and when she ended second in the All Africa Games event was only finding her feet in the sport again.

“This was the second time I was able to win all seven races in one series. It’s also the sixth time that I’ve won the series and yesterday was my 38th win in total.”

Steyn had gone into Sunday’s race a worried woman. “I was actually very worried as I was treating a calf injury for the past two weeks. And if I didn’t race I would not have qualified to take the overall series victory. So it was almost no running for me the last two weeks.

“I had a very good swim and managed to get out with all the girls. Only Carlyn had about a 15-second lead into T1. We caught her after about 4km into the bike. I did try to break away on the bike but the aggressive riding was maybe not the best for my calf. So we were five girls (Carlyn, Anel Stewart, Vicky van der Merwe, Riana de Lange and myself) entering T2 together.

“To my surprise I was able to make a huge gap on Carlyn early in the run. After the turn around I realized that I have a big lead and could cruise to the finish line and there was no sign of my sore calf.”

What’s next for the 2011 champion: ” Now it is a few days rest and then my preparation for 70.3 will start.”