National road champion An-Li Kachelhoffer (29) was South Africa’s highest finisher as she claimed silver in the road race at the 2016 CAC (African Cycling Confederation) Road Cycling Championships in Benslimane, Morocco this week.
The 120-kilometre event ended in a sprint finish with 23-year-old Vera Adrian on Namibia claiming her second gold medal of the week after winning the Individual Time Trial on Tuesday.
Adrian nudged Kachelhoffer into second place and Mauritian Kimberley Le Court (20) into third place for the podium positions. Ethiopian Tsega Beyene was fourth in the sprint, recording the same finish time as the winner.
Multiple SA national champion, Anriette Schoeman (39), finished fifth, five seconds off the pace, while her national teammates Lise Olivier (33) and Samantha Sanders (33) finished in 17th and 20th places respectively, 10 seconds and 19 seconds off the winning time.
Earlier in the week Sanders had got bronze in the individual time trial.
The South African team worked well together for Kachelhoffer and keep her near the front of the field. At around the 80km mark, Kachelhoffer and Le Court broke away from the peloton, but were reeled in again with only 10 kilometres to go. With the peloton staying together right until the end, it was Adrian who delivered the winning move to cross the line first and claim the coveted gold medal.
After the race, Kachelhoffer tweeted: ‘Our team rode like stars today, outsmarted at the end. Thank you @makemefaster (Sanders) @LiseOlivier and @Anriettes on an incredible effort #Proud’.
The South African elite women’s team arrived home on Saturday with four gold medals from the Team Time Trial, one silver medal from Kachelhoffer in the Road Race and one bronze medal from Sanders in the Time Trial.
In the podium picture are, left to right, Kachelhoffer, Adrian and Le Court
Road race results
1 Vera Adrian (NAM) 03:39:48
2 An-Li Kachelhoffer (RSA) +0
3 Kimberley le Court de Billot (MRI) +0
4 Tsega Beyene (ETH) +0
5 Anriette Schoeman (RSA) +5
6 Wehazit Kidane (ERI) +9
7 Aurelie Halbwachs (MRI) +10
8 Helen Mitchell (ZIM) +10
9 Hadnet Kidane (ETH) +10
10 Eyeru Gebru (ETH) +10
17 Lise Olivier (RSA) +10
20 Samantha Sanders (RSA) +19