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Olympian Ashleigh ends year on a high

London Olympian Ashleigh Moolman Pasio raced to a fitting victory at the season-ending Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge in Johannesburg on Sunday.

It marked the final race for the Momentum Toyota team which she raced on for all five years of its existence. Her win also confirmed that the team objective had been met ÔÇô to develop world-class female South African road riders.

Moolman Pasio seen winning right, went from promising upstart when the team formed in 2009 to the most successful female road cyclist in South African history by the end of 2013. The 28-year-old chemical engineering graduate, who achieved a top 15 world ranking in 2013, wasn’t the only one to benefit from the squad, which essentially helped put SA women’s racing on the international radar.

Lynette Burger, Lizanne Naude (Van der Merwe), Anriette Schoeman, Leandri du Toit, Andri Coetzee, Heidi Dalton, Cherise Taylor (Stander), Robyn de Groot and Joanna Hotchkiss (Van de Winkel) were all members of the team during the five-year period.

While the team’s riders flourished domestically, winning virtually every major race on the calendar between 2009 and 2013, including multiple national and Continental titles, the squad’s focussed, rapid progress also helped significantly raise the general standard of South African women’s racing. All three South African slots at the London Olympic Games were occupied by Momentum Toyota team members ÔÇô Moolman Pasio, De Groot and Van de Winkel.

ÔÇ£This is such a wonderful event. It’s great to win it again, but more amazing to have two Momentum Toyota riders on the podium. Our objective was to win today and that objective was achieved,ÔÇØ said Moolman Pasio during her post-race TV interview. ÔÇ£I’m grateful for the time with Momentum Toyota. It’s been great for my career and I’m looking forward to the next chapter.

Picture: Cycle Nation


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