Robyn de Groot claimed the Free State’s biggest road cycling race when she won the women’s title at the MTN OFM Classic on Sunday, but it was Jennie Stenerhag who left Bloemfontein with the green jersey on her back as leader of the 2009 Alpha Pharm Seeding Series.
In the women’s race, the ongoing duel between Stenerhag (Alpha Pharm) and Anriëtte Schoeman (Nashua Telecoms) reached a new level early in the 97km race, which took place in cool, overcast, and breezy conditions, with the Series lead having changed between the two racers four times, and looks set to go down to the last event to determine the final wearer.
Schoeman started Sunday’s race in the coveted jersey, but faced a dilemma in the final stages as her teammate, De Groot, went off on her own in an attempt to secure the victory.
De Groot attacked the lead group as they hit the final kilometre and put in a sizable gap, which she held until the finish, clocking 2hrs 36min 41sec for one of the biggest wins of her career.
The result suited Schoeman’s Nashua Telecoms team, but not Schoeman personally. Stenerhag won the bunch gallop for second place and the 40 points that go with it, while Schoeman’s seventh place netted her 15 points.
Schoeman’s lead over Stenerhag at the start of the day was just five points, but the Swedish national champion turned that around into a 20-point lead with three events remaining.
Round 11 of the Alpha Pharm Seeding Series is the AGA Cycle Challenge in Orkney on Sunday, 8 November.