Firm favourite Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio would not defend her time trial title on Wednesday, her professional team confirmed, after falling ill on the eve of the SA Road Cycling Championships in KwaZulu-Natal.
The Cervelo-Bigla Pro Cycling outfit said the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist had withdrawn just hours before the elite women’s time trial.
“Unfortunately @ashleighcycling won’t be able to defend her title in @Cycling_SA time trial championships due to illness,” the team revealed on twitter.
Her absence from the race left the contest for the national title wide open.
It was unclear whether Moolman-Pasio, who won the road race and time trial titles the last three years in a row, would recover in time to compete in the road race later in the week.
The schedule on the opening day of the national championships also included junior and para-cycling time trial events.
The elite men’s time trial was set to be held on Thursday’s second day of competition.