Team USN’s Cherise Taylor and Karien van Jaarsveld put in a late burst over the final few hundred metres to claim victory on Stage 1 and take the early lead in the women’s category at 2011 Subaru Sani2c mountain bike stage race in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa on Thursday.
The pair clocked a winning time of 03 hours 20 minutes and 48 seconds for the 87km stage from Underberg to MacKenzie Country Club. Second place went to Team bizhub’s Catherine Williamson and Candice Neethling, who were 13 seconds back, with Yolandi du Toit and Nicci Grobler (Team bizhub) rounding out the podium places.
“Cherise was a bit ill during the last few days so we decided to ride the stage conservatively and see how she felt. We rode with the one of the bizhub teams, Catherine and Candice, at the front, but let them set the pace mostly,” explained Van Jaarsveld, winner of the 2011 ABSA Cape Epic.
“On the final climb to the finish line, Catherine attacked and Candice couldn’t go with her. We immediately took advantage of this weakness and counter-attacked giving us a small time cushion as we crossed the finished line.”
At 96km with 1786m of ascent, Friday’s second stage is the most difficult of the three-day event.
For full results and more race information, visit www.sani2c.co.za