Jennie Stenerhag

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Victory in Die Burger fiets toer!


 Yesterday I got my biggest victory ever in South Africa. It was a seeding race for The Argus (the worlds biggest timed race with 35000 entries), so it was a nationell race. Earlier I have won local races and been 2nd and 3rd in national races but never won. What made this victory even better was that South Africa’s best sprinter, Anriette Schoeman, was here and everyone thought it would be an easy victory for her. I have raced against her before but never been able to beat her in a sprint, so it really felt nice!! 

Cycling is really different in South Africa compared to Sweden, it was about 6000 participants in the event yesterday, there really is a lot of fun riders in South Africa. In the ladies race it was about 20-30 girls, about the same as in Sweden, but here you can also find girls in the seeding groups, they can get a better time then us since they start in groups with men even though they are out of competition. 

The race was held in my “home town” Stellenbosch and the start was just 500 meters from my house, and it was 101km long. We started to climb up Helshoegte pass, a 8,5km climb that started only 1,5km into the race, we could feel that in our legs! After that we had 55km of roling hills were nothing really happened, me and another girl tried to get away but it never worked. When we had 35km to go we were 5 that got away on a hill and we worked well together all the way to the finish. When we came to the finish Anriette started the sprint with 400meters to go, I was boxed in behind another girl, Anriette came on one side and on the other I had the pavement, I knew that I had to get passed this girl on the inside, if I would get out on the other side and get behind Anriette I would never be able to pass, she is too strong for that. I took a chance and passed on the inside and we were head to head for about 100 meters before I felt that I was the strongest and beat her just before the line. Such a nice feeling! 

Last weekend was also a race, 203km team time trail. I have done this race with the same team 2 times before and last year we won it. Unfortunately we were not as strong this year, or more correctly it felt as we were not as focused on racing this year so we did not push that hard. Afterwards we know that we should have, because after 6 hours and 40 minutes of racing we were only 3 minutes behind the winning team! But second is not bad either! I was surprised that it felt as good as it did to race that long considering that the longest ride I have done since my accident is 3,5 hours, so there is nothing wrong with the endurance. Even though my arm might not find it such a good idée, it hurt a lot in the end, but the day after it was ok again… 

My arm is getting a lot better since I came here, I am seeing my physiotherapist and he is doing wonders to my elbow! He is treating it and it really helps. Before I left Sweden I could not have done such a sprint as I did yesterday. I almost start to think that the arm could be completely recovered… 

Otherwise everything is as usual down here, we have had days with 30 degrees, the south westerly wind is picking up in the afternoons so that you can hardly cycle, I have had one day with the stomach bug, so, yes, everything is as usual!:-) 

I will soon upload some new pictures so please check soon again!


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