Candice Lill and Hayley Preen won the elite women’s gold medals at the 2021 South African National Road Championships, which saw competition in the Elite, Under 23, Junior, Master and Para-Cycling categories from Thursday, 18 – Sunday, 21 March in Swellendam.
Hayley Preen was crowned the 2021 South African National Road Race Champion in Swellendam on Sunday, winning the women’s elite road race (133km) in a time of 4:18:06.
The 133km #EliteWomen road race at the #SARoadChamps21 boasted a strong field of contenders. In the end, it came down to a sprint between Preen & Oberholzer, with Preen proving stronger on the day. Frances Janse van Rensburg claimed 3rd spot & the under-23 crown at the same time. pic.twitter.com/38h5MIO2Kz
— CyclingSA Road (@CyclingSA_Road) March 22, 2021
Carla Oberholzer, the 2018 National Champion, finished second in the elite women’s race, with Frances Janse van Rensburg rounding out the podium. By finishing third in the elite women’s race, Janse van Rensburg claimed the under-23 women’s title.
“I was feeling strong but I never thought I would be able to pull it off. I knew I could maybe get a podium here today but I didn’t think that I could get the top step.” exclaimed an elated Preen after her Road Race victory.
The women’s elite race was 133km long, with riders heading out of Swellendam along the R60 before doing two loops around Bonnievale and then heading home.
During the course of the morning, a stiff wind picked up, creating challenges for the riders on the Bonnievale loops and then the race towards the finish, which by mid-afternoon was into a strong headwind. The wind did nothing to slow down Preen, though.
“I felt good from start to finish today,” said a delighted Preen. “I was feeling good all day and managed to close off some attacks and managed to put in a few attacks too.
“Eventually a few of us went off from the bunch, but we were caught again. Then there were eight of us rolling on the last section back towards Swellendam. On the last climb Carla (Oberholzer) and I went together and somehow I managed to hold her off.”
Also on Sunday, Toni Mould claimed gold in the Women’s Para T1 & T2 race, Justine Asher won the Para H2 Women, and Palesa Manaleng topped the podium in the Para H3 Women race.
Lill Scoops the Time Trial Gold
In the first results of the championship earlier on Friday, Candice Lill claimed the women’s National Time Trial title, completing the women’s 30km time trial course in 47:04.42.
The women’s 30km time trial race route took riders out of Swellendam on the R60 towards Ashton before turning back towards Swellendam at the 15km mark, with the route gaining approximately 425m total elevation.
Yesterday, the South African National Time Trial and Road Race Championships began in Swellendam. The Time Trial event kickstarted the weekend action, with Candice Lill racing to victory and claiming the national Time Trial title.#SaRoadChamps21 pic.twitter.com/DmbJ5fdjyW
— CyclingSA Road (@CyclingSA_Road) March 20, 2021
The elite race started in heavy rain, but right from the start, Lill looked like the rider to beat as she launched down the first descent and over the first small hill.
Lill finished ahead of African time trial champ Carla Oberholzer in second, and Zanri Rossouw in third.
“I can’t believe I won. It seems a bit crazy. I had a really solid ride out there, although when you finish a time trial it always feels like you didn’t go hard enough,” said Lill after her Time Trial win.
“But clearly today I did go hard enough, and I am stoked to be the South African Time Trial Champion. The course was tough, with lots of rolling hills so it really hurt out there.”
This year’s winners and medal placements compete for team selection for the World Championship and the Olympics, and the event saw a successful event which witnessed the crowning of the 2021 National Road and Time Trial Champions
The wellbeing and safety of all participants meant that no spectators were permitted in accordance with the National Government COVID-19 regulations, and while cyclists were allowed to compete without masks, they were to be worn up until race start, and after finishing, while masks were mandatory for all support staff, media and event crew attending the Champs.
Results of the 2021 SA National Time Trial and Road Race Championships in Swellendam from 18 – 21 March, 2021:
Women’s Elite Time Trial:
- Candice Lill 47:04.426
- Carla Oberholzer 48:00.407
- Zanri Rossouw 48:22.817
Elite Women Road Race:
- Hayley Preen 4:18:06.1
- Carla Oberholzer 4:18:7.7
- Frances Janse van Rensburg 4:18:30.7
Para T1 & T2 Women:
- Toni Mould 02:45:12.0
Para H2 Women:
- Justine Asher 01:33:54.3
Para H3 Women:
- Palesa Manaleng 02:14:34.1
U23 Women Road Race:
- Frances Janse van Rensburg 4:18:30.7
- Azulde Britz 4:25:41.8
- Tiffany Keep 4:25:46.9
- Chloe Bateson 2:51:28.3
- Caitlin Thompson 2:51:33.4
- Chante Oosthuizen 2:51:39.0
Masters Women 30-34:
- Michel Botha 2:44:25:,2
- Midee Buizer 2:44:53.8
- Beauty Ngobese 2:49:17.3
Masters Women 35-39:
- Michelle Andrew 2:43:52.2
- Liezel du Preez 2:44:41.9
- Lauren Smith 2:44:42.9
Masters Women 40-44:
- Estie Cloete 2:44:53.4
- Bianca Holtzkampf 2:46:54.9
- Elmien Stander 2:48:32.7
Masters Women 45-49:
- Carol van Heerden 2:46:31.3
- Lee-Zaan Hinrichsen 2:46:44.1
- Kris Le Cok 3:07:45.2
Masters Women 50-54:
- Alma Colyn 2:47:29.6
- Desiree Strydom 2:55:13.3
- Linda Fouche 2:55:35.5
Masters Women 55-59:
- Elizabeth Janse van Rensburg 2:47:41.4
- Christina Claasen 2:54:35.9
- Jillian Jacobs 2:54:58.0
Photo 1 Caption: 2021 SA Cycling’s Women’s Elite Road Race champion Hayley Preen (centre) raises the winners’ bouquet alongside Carla Oberholzer (left, second) and Frances Janse van Rensburg (right, third) complete the Elite Women’s Road Race podium in Swellendam on Sunday, 21 March, 2021. Photo: Chris Hitchcock
Photo 2 Caption: Toni Mound (left, Women’s Para T1 and T2) and Justine Asher (right, Women’s Para H2) claimed gold in their respective divisions. Photo: Chris Hitchcock
Photo 3 Caption: Palesa ‘Deejay’ Manaleng continued her success in the Women’s Para H3 division. Photo: Chris Hitchcock
Photo 4 Caption: Friday’s medalists in the SA National Time Trial Elite Women’s division are first-placed Candice Lill (centre), second-placed Carla Oberholzer (left); and Elite third-placed, and U23 champion, Zanri Rossouw (right). Photo: Chris Hitchcock
Video content: Bigshot Media
With editing by gsport