Jennie Stenerhag

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A weekend in Durban


I had a great weekend in Durban even though I left sunny Western Cape for a race in KZN where it was guaranteed to rain. So did my pre-race training in Stellenbosch where the sun was shining on Saturday morning before I left. Even though it was raining on the way from Durban to Pietermaritzburg where the start for the Amashova is, I could see how beautiful this area is with its 1000 green hills. We back tracked the course and I realised that even though we started at 650 meters above sea level and finish at by the sea, we would have some serious climbing to do.


We were lucky with the weather, in the morning for the start it was only drizzling, not pouring down as the night before. We were 300 girls in the racing ladies bunch and 10.000 riders in total in the race, so it was one of the bigger races in the country. We started the race by climbing for 10 kilometers, so here already we lost a lot of girls. I really had to work hard in this race, all South Africas top ladies were there and all 3 teams had there full teams. The attacks were frequent and every time a break away got away I was the one that had to chase them down. The first time that I had been chasing for a long time I got a puncture, great – when I was already tired! I quickly got a new wheel and chased back to the bunch. Soon after was another attack that I had to go on and this was just before the hardest hill of the day, I was really tired when I heard that someone was gearing up and then I saw Marissa on a vicious attack, great – how was I going to be able to follow on that one when I had been pulling for so long… I was hanging on for dear life. After a few more hills we were only 9 girls left and after I closed another serious break away it was clear that it was going to be a bunch sprint between us. With 2 MTN, 3 Nashua and 3 Cycle lab in the bunch I did not think that I had a chance in the sprint, so I must say that I got a bit nervous. When we got closer to the finish one could see the sprinters getting there positions, I was too far to the front, not at all what I wanted. I was waiting for the sprint to start but nothing happened so with 200 meters to go I decided it was time to go and with 150meters left I went and crossed the line first! So I could get my 3rd out of 3 since I got back to SA and number 19 for this year!


I was really happy with this win since I had to work so hard for it and it was a big race and I was up against 3 teams!


This was a part of the Alpha Pharm seeding series and I got the jersey back since Anriette was 5th. I am now in the lead by 20 points. Next race in the series is on Saturday in Pretoria, the capital of South Africa.


A big thank you to Alpha Pharm KZN that took so good care of me when Susan could not be there! I really appreciate everything you did for me!


Now I really hope the summer is here to stay, today was over 30 degrees here in Stellenbosch and the forecast says it will stay like this during the week. And yes, I went back to sunny Stellenbosch straight after the race!


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