Jennie Stenerhag

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A very close second in PE Herald


Right now I am in Port Elisabeth, flying back to Stellenbosch in a few hours.


But I will start to tell about last weeks league race. The third race was once again around the Cape Peninsula, meaning lots of hills again! I had harder competition this time since Ashleigh Moolman was there, she is a good climber and she has won both races that has been in Johannesburg in the beginning of the year so I was happy to get a good comparison both on my climbing and my sprints. We started with climbing up Ou Kaapse weg and at the top we had the only QOM of the day, only 10km in to the race. I won this one well clear and all the other hills felt very good. We were six girls that got away after the first hill and stayed like that until we climbed Ou Kaapse weg again from the other side 10km before the finish. Me, Ashleigh and Kelly put the hammer down there and left the other girls. Coming in to the sprint me and Ashleigh were side to side, I left it a little late and she started the sprint, I had to dig deep but knew I could do it and managed to pass her right on the line. I had the feeling that I took it but they had to check the photo finish to declare me as the winner.


Yesterday it was the other way around…


The PE Herald in Port Elisabeth was my first national race for this year and I was going to get a good sign of how the training is going since all the teams were represented. Being a solo rider is always hard against the teams, I really have to be tactical and read the race well.


Team Cycle lab/Toyota had 2 riders in the race, MTN came with 3 and the big team was Team Bizhub that had 8 riders, including the Swiss champ, the Norwegian champ and an English girl, and being such a big team they could have made it really hard for the rest of us, if they played the tactics right. But I have to say that they did not impress me. The attacking started after a few kilometres and was coming all the time for the first 20 kilometers, I went on every attack since I was sure I could not let one girl from every team get away without me being there. I thought to my self that if they would keep doing this I would really suffer! But then the attacking stopped and the race unfolded to a very slow and negative race. There is 2 big climbs in the race where the pace got up a bit, I was with the front girls at both of them. We got a smaller break on Maitlands, the longest climb but it did not last.


There were a few attacks at the end but it was a big bunch that came together to the finish, we had basically only dropped a few of the Bizhub girls, all the rest were there. A big male bunch were side to side with us coming up to the sprint, I was not sure what was going to happen but it was not as messy as it can sometimes be with the men around. I am not 100% sure how the sprint unfolded, I just know that I passed Ashleigh and 2 other girls and was leading with just a few meters to go and then Ashleigh came back and took me just on the line. I don’t even think it was by half a wheel, so a very close second for me today! Of course I would have wanted to defend my title from last year even though I am still happy with being on the podium!


I have also just decide to do the South African Championship, I had not planned to do it but just felt like it and booked everything the other day. It will be fun, all team will be there with full teams including about 10 foreign riders, so it will be an international race!


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