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SA racers ready to wrap up European campaign in Switzerland
- Updated: June 5, 2016
By Mark Etheridge
South Africa’s two leading women’s mountain bikers wrap up their helter-skelter World Cup campaign with a race in Granichen, Switzerland on Sunday.
Commonwealth Games racer Mariske Strauss and reigning national champion Cherie Redecker will be in action before heading back home.
Wrapping up last week’s race in La Bresse, France and looking forward to Sunday, Strauss told Road to Rio 2016: ’In Albstadt, Germany I managed to end 44th which help a lot with my starting spot for La Bresse. La Bresse I just wanted to build on the previous week and with a wet course combined with my incident on the first climb (a girl took me out on the first climb).
’I was very happy how it turned out. I had to fight hard to get through traffic and finally could ride my heart out on the last lap and it showed, I clocked the 13th fastest laptime for my final lap and rode up to 36th place (beating the current world champ).
‘Its great to be feeling like my old self again, its really been quite a journey after my injuries but we seem to have a handle on things again (so blessed)
‘After arriving in Switzerland I took a spin to the track. Looks fun …’
As for Redecker, still feeling her way around the international scene, she told Road to Rio 2016: ‘La Bresse was awesome. A thunder storm and heavy rain the night before left us wondering what the track will be like and if it continued we would be skiing more than riding but luckily it wasn’t too bad.
‘The start was a bit chaotic and positions up the climb were constantly changing. There wasn’t a lot of passing space so if someone made a mistake it lead to us running for a bit. Riding at the same pace as Julie Bresset and Pauline Prevot was great and we really got to experience the full French support.
‘My head was buzzing but it was great motivation to push harder. Unfortunately I made some mistakes on the tech bits and fell which resulted in the ratchet on my shoe to break. I had to negotiate my way carefully down the hill hoping it wouldn’t fall off. At the bottom tech zone we managed to fix it and I was able to continue.
‘I lost a few places and motivation but still being early in the race I was lucky to get into a rhythm again and make up some positions.
‘I have mixed emotions about the race because a better position would have helped show I should go to World Champs. None the less I’m happy with my progress. I am starting to feel part of the racing at the World Cups.’