She didn’t cross the finish line first, but Cherise Taylor (Team USN) was declared the winner of the 2011 Powerade CANSA Lost City Cycle Classic following a dramatic finale at the Sun City Resort near Rustenburg on Saturday.
MTN Qhubeka’s An-Li Pretorius was the first Elite woman across the finish line at the end of the 115km race, but a post-race appeal from Team USN and Team Nashua Toyota prompted race officials to examine finishing straight video footage and then relegated Pretorius to fifth.
That gave Taylor the victory over Isabel Moolman (Team FJR) and Lynette Burger (Nashua Toyota), who were moved to second and third respectively.
“There is a difference between drifting and switching in a sprint. Drifting is gradual and predictable, while switching is dangerous and blatant,” said an angry Taylor afterwards.
“I was positioned behind An-Li going into the finish with the intention of coming around her in the sprint. But as I began to come around on her left, she closed me out to the left hand side of the road.
“I shouted to her to warn her of my being there and then she closed me out even more, colliding with me. To avoid going off the road and onto the gravel, I had to brake hard and stop the sprint. It just wasn’t a fair sprint and our team wasn’t the only team that felt that, which is why we appealed.”
Officials and the riders involved watched video replays of the finishing sprint before the officials ruled in favour of the appeal by Team USN and Nashua Toyota. It was Taylor’s eighth road race victory of 2011 and the 12th for Team USN.
The race, which took place over a new, longer route, failed to produce any significant breakaways, with Anriëtte Schoeman (Nashua Toyota) claiming the first Hot Spot sprint at 36km and Taylor claiming the second at 84km.
Elite women leading results at the 115km Powerade CANSA Lost City Classic, in Sun City, on Saturday, 20 August, 2011:1. Cherise Taylor (Team USN) 03hrs 13min 05sec 2. Isabel Moolman (Team FJR) 3. Lynette Burger (Nashua Toyota) 4. Anriette Schoeman (Nashua Toyota) 5. An-Li Pretorius (MTN Qhubeka) all same time