Sunday 19 January saw Cashandra Slingerland take on the Ride for Sight 116km Classic with her Cycle Nation Women’s Team starting at the Boksburg Stadium.
The route saw the riders take on a largely flat loop past Suikerbosrand and through the outskirts of Heidelburg where the bulk of the climbing for the day would be faced.
Says Chashandra of raceday morning:
“It was clear on the startline that all of the women were ready for the race with their A-Game, many having recently returned from SA Road Championships in Wellington. I remained quietly confident of my form, returning from SA’s with a Gold in the time trial and silver in the road race.”
Noticeable absences on the line were Charlene du Preez of Team Clover, Carla Oberholzer and Kim LeCourt of Team Demacon, and all away racing African Championships in Egypt. The field remained strong however, with a bi group of women on the line.
The race was positive with a high tempo for the opening kilometers and most of the riders contributing in front. The wind however remained a concern that may have curbed the attacking in the bunch.
At the bottom of “The Steps” on the well-known Lido route, the riders turned left and began making their way towards Suikerbosrand, now with a strong tail wind. “At 35km, we hit our first drag. I put in a strong attack that was brought back, and my Cycle Nation teammate Jo (Van der Winkel) immediately counter-attacked with a Demacon rider going with. I watched Clover as they had no one in the break, followed their wheel, with a slight gap forming another Demacon rider attacked, I followed and this was the move of the day. We managed to get 9 girls in the split, all the girls kept rolling through and the gap increased. At that point the pace was too high for 2 riders and we lost them.”
The split was whittled down to 7, with Sanet Coetzee hanging on, unfortunately later dropping off and the group later reduced to 5 ladies, 2 from CycleNation 2 from Clover and 1 from Demacon.
“This worked out well, we all rolled through to keep the gap growing. As we went through Heidelburg we noticed the 2 Clover riders were taking strain and Heidi ( Demacon) attacked with myself and Jo ( Cyclenation ) going with. We managed to stay away to the end, working nicely together to keep the gap steady. It came down to a sprint finish and we ended Heidi first, Jo second and myself third.”
Cashandra is working towards qualification and support to compete at the UCI Masters World Championships in France later this year.
Cashandra is a proud ambassador for Fuji Bikes, Irwin Wheels and Sponser energy products.