Jennie Stenerhag

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Winter in South Africa


It is the first time that I am in South Africa during their winter, I have heard from my friends that it is cold and rainy. When I arrived in Cape Town last week it was +27 degrees and sunshine, not that I call that cold… During the weekends race in Knysna we had about +20 and sunshine, so nothing to complain about. On the other hand it gets very cold during the nights, yesterday when I went cycling at 8am it was 5-6 degrees, brrrr,  and since there is no isolation in the houses here it gets very cold inside, something that I am not used to, since I come from a country that for example uses triple glass in the windows!!! It is interesting to be here during the winter and see that it is not always green in this part of the world! And there is other fruits that are cheap in the shops, how about 5,5kg oranges for 70 euro cent!!! Guess if I eat oranges every day???


The race this weekend in Knysna went well. It was the 4th leg of the Alpha Pharm seeding series and I was in the leading jersey at the start. South Africas 3 teams were there and before start I heard rumours that they were all going to work together to ride me off, each team had 4 riders so it was 12 against 1, I was a little bit nervous when I heard that but just knew that I had to ride cleverly. The race started with a 5km hill out of town and the bunch split there already. After that it was a steady pace until the next long climb of 8km up to the queen of the mountain sprint. There were a lot of attacks up that hill and at the top it was only 6 of us left, we did not work that well together so more girls caught us from behind. Since it was a lot of attacks, specially from MTN, I had to be very alert to which ones I had to go on not to burn myself out at the same time as I could not let anything important go. It finally came down to a bunch sprint and I was happy that the 12 girls did not manage to ride me off in the end. The sprint was won by Merissa Van de Merve from MTN and I was second. Anriette, who is second in the series, came third so I got some more points on her in the total and kept the green leaders jersey for another round.


This weekend will be without races, lots of training in Stellenbosch instead, but the forecast says real winter weather which means lots of rain so we will see how it goes…


Me and Jamie Ball, the mens leader of the Alpha Pharm seeding series

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