OFM Classic 2011

Ashleigh-OFM1-2Yesterday I won the MTN OFM Classic in Bloemfontein. What makes this victory particularly significant
to me, is the fact that I won in the town where I grew up

Bloemfontein is a great city and although I no longer live there, I can honestly say that my solid
upbringing in this small city, definitely contributes to my success as an athlete today! I grew up
attending Eunice School for girls which is a wonderful environment for young aspiring athletes, moms
and business women alike. It was thanks to my great schooling, wonderful friends and incredibly
supportive family in Bloemfontein that I am where I am today. It was in Bloemfontein that I learnt how
to work hard for what I want to achieve and to have faith in what I believe in!

Yesterday’s race was 99km long and took place in and around the wonderful city of Bloemfontein. It was
a particularly exciting women’s race as it was very aggressive from the start! My team, Nashua Toyota
definitely made the racing; we really forced the other teams work very hard for a result.

To cut a long story short, here is a quick summary of how the race panned out:

Team mate, Lynette Burger initiated an early four man break away containing representation from all
the major teams. Midway into the race, I bridged across to the breakaway alone. This forced Team MTN
and Cherise Taylor (USN) to chase. Our break was caught as we neared Bloemfontein city again. Soon
after, team mate Joanna van de Winkel attacked, approaching the three significant “climbs” of the day.
She stayed away, on her own, till 5km to go. When she was caught, my team mates, started attacking
aggressively once again. With 300m to go, Robyn de Groot’s attack was brought back, and that’s when
I launched my sprint. No one could pass me and I was delighted to take the win for our team. Cherise
Taylor (USN) finished second and Isabel Moolman (FJR) third.

The OFM Classic was a great display of fantastic team work from my Nashua Toyota team. Any one of us
could have won on the day and I feel very priviledged to be a part of such a classy and professional team
in South Africa!

Tonight I am off to Eritrea for African Continental Championships. The Individual Time Trial takes place
on Friday the 11th of November and the Road Race on Sunday the 13th of November. The points up for
grabs are incredibly important for Olympic Qualification. The South African women’s team consists of
Cherise Taylor, Joanna van de Winkel and myself. Robyn de Groot was selected, but is not taking part
due to injury. We will do our best to make South Africa proud and our goal is to bring gold, silver and
bronze home!

I have never travelled this far North in Africa and I’m sure it will be a very interesting experience. I look
forward to reporting back on my return to South Africa on the 16th of November.

2 thoughts on “OFM Classic 2011

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