The nation’s elite road cyclists were knocked off their perch on Tuesday, with Namibian Vera Adrian securing victory in the women’s time trial at the African Road Cycling Championships in Benslimane, Morocco.
Promising 20-year-old rider Jeanne D’arc Girubuntu of Rwanda earned silver, and SA’s top finisher Samantha Sanders took bronze.
South African women had won the individual time trial title at the last six successive editions of the continental championships.
In the absence of SA women’s No 1 Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, who was unavailable due to commitments with her professional outfit, Sanders and Lise Olivier were the national squad’s only representatives in the time trial contest.
On Sunday, the quartet of Sanders, Olivier, An-Li Kachelhoffer and Anriette Steenkamp had got their continental campaign off to a solid start, bagging gold in the team time trial.
The SA team, represented only in the elite women’s category at the annual championships, will close their campaign in the road race on Thursday.