Solid Performance for SA Women at Road World Champs

South Africa’s Elite Women’s road cycling team put on a great display of determination and are starting to reap the rewards of their months of racing in Europe when they remained with the main bunch for most of the race in Copenhagen on Saturday, 24 September, at the 2011 UCI World Road Cycling Championships in Denmark.

Not to be forgotten, the sole junior men’s competitor Jayde Julius held his own in a feisty race, with a 23rd place finish, 3-seconds off the winning time.  A late inclusion into the South African team following excellent performances in Europe of late, Jayde had to mark the moves and follow the riders in the breaks, using his sprinting ability to finish off the race, completing the 9-lap 126km course in 2:49:01.

France’s Pierre-Henri Lecuisinier outsprinted Martijn Degreve (Belgium) and Steven Lammertink (Holland) to claim the gold, after a six-rider move finally got a gap that stuck.

In the closing race for the South African team at this year’s Road World Championships, the women remained in the thick of the action in the front bunch, looking strong whilst the pressure began to build as the racing tactics started playing out. Despite a split in the bunch at three laps to go, the South African team remained calm and collected and eventually finished the race in the main bunch, collecting the same winning time as race winner.

Ashleigh Moolman crossed the finish line of the 140km (10-lap) road race in 23rd place, followed by teammate Joanna Van De Winkel 32nd, and Cherise Taylor 34th – all posting the same time as the race winner Giorgia Bronzini of Italy.  Robyn De Groot crashed in the final lap, finishing in 100th place.

History repeated itself as 2010 World Champion Bronzini once again out powered the same silver medallist as 12 months ago, Marianne Vos, as Vos steadily closed the gap in the final metres, coming to within half a wheel of the Italian as they flashed across the finish line.  Germany’s Ina-Yoko Teutenberg took third.

Final Results – Men’s Junior Road Race – 126.0 km (9 laps)
1 Pierre-Henri Lecuisinier FRA 2:48:58
2 Martijn Degreve BEL 2:48:58 +0
3 Steven Lammertink NED 2:48:58 +0
4 Florian Senechal FRA 2:49:01 +3
5 Rick Zabel GER 2:49:01 +3
23 Jayde Julius RSA 2:49:01 +3

Final Results – Women’s Elite Road Race – 140.0 km (10 laps)
1 Giorgia Bronzini ITA 3:21:28
2 Marianne Vos NED 3:21:28 +0
3 Ina Teutenberg GER 3:21:28 +0
4 Nicole Cooke GBR 3:21:28 +0
5 Julia Martisova RUS 3:21:28 +0
23 Ashleigh Moolman RSA 3:21:28 +0
32 Joanna Van De Winkel RSA 3:21:28 +0
34 Cherise Taylor RSA 3:21:28 +0
100 Robyn De Groot RSA 3:22:47 +1:19