An-Li Kachelhoffer secured her maiden national title on Saturday, breaking clear of the lead group on the final climb to win the elite women’s road race on day four of the SA Road Cycling Championships in Westville.
The 29-year-old Lotto-Soudol rider, who had earned the silver medal last year, completed the race seven seconds clear of second-placed Lise Olivier (Time Freight eTeam).
Anriette Schoeman, turning out for Africa Silks, used her vast experience to clinch bronze a further five seconds behind.
“It really was a race of attrition,” Kachelhoffer said.
“On my final attack I looked back and no one followed, and hoped I could carry it through to the end. I feel so blessed that I could take the title.”
Defending champion Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Cervelo-Bigla Pro Cycling), who withdrew from the time trial three days earlier due to illness, finished sixth.
Moolman-Pasio had won the national road race title the last four years in a row.
Olivier, director of the Cycling SA women’s commission, was delighted with the quality of racing at the annual championships, as well as the increased depth across the country on the domestic circuit.
“The level of women’s cycling has increased dramatically,” Olivier said.
“We’re getting over 50 women racing in the regional events in Gauteng. It’s an encouraging sign and good to see some new faces and some new teams.”
The elite men’s road race will be held on the final day of the national championships on Sunday.