To move forward on a bicycle, you have to have momentum. I’ve learned that momentum is created by nothing other than hard work: the physical force of your legs and the mental decision to keep that physical force going. Momentum is what gets you to the starting line and the finish line, regardless of what your goal is, whether it’s a race against yourself or the 94.7.
Last weekend my goal was the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge, one of South Africa’s biggest cycling events. The race attracts over 30,000 riders, including all the top female elite racers. With a tough, undulation course; I knew the race was to be made with every rise in the road. With each push of the pace the bunch began to whittle down early like I suspected but as we turned onto the highway and course flattened out so did the energy of the peloton. With a subdued pace, I could feel everyone watching me, waiting for me to make a move, and the passive tactics kept everything together for the majority of the race.
When we finally turned off the highway and the terrain started to roll again, my teammate Heidi Dalton, a junior in the middle of high school exams, made an impressive attack. Immediately, the race was shocked back into life as Heidi opened a significant gap. Her bold move caught everyone’s attention and teams jumped to the front to chase but I thought (I hoped!) she was going to steal the win.
On the last drag up to the finish, “heartbreak hill” prevailed over Heidi’s legs and the chasers clawed her back into the bunch. With the chase effort still fresh in everyone’s legs, I knew it was time to attack so I launched up the side and off the front. Simultaneously, my other teammate Sharon Laws also attacked and, along with Anriette Schoeman, the three of us were away.
I had less than 1 kilometre to make the best of the break and position myself for the sprint. The road into the finish is technical with a few corners and a tricky traffic circle so I knew the best place to be was the driver’s seat. With the other two in my wake, I was perfectly positioned as the road straightened out. I burst into my sprint and powered my way to the win. After such a great effort from the whole team, the win was even sweeter when Sharon finished in second.
The victory was a great finish for me and my season, but it was also a great end to my time with Momentum Toyota. Momentum Toyota helped me start my cycling career 5 years ago locally in South Africa and abroad with Lotto Belisol. Since then we have both been committed to striving for big goals, no matter how out of reach they seemed. There have been many ups, a lot of downs, but with dedicated hard work there has always been momentum yielding positive growth.
As author Michael Kord states, “one way to keep momentum going is to have constantly greater goals.” In the spirit of moving forward, I have decided to channel my hard work toward new goals with a new team in 2014: Team Hitec Products.
Onwards and upwards 🙂