|Photo Credit: Stuart Pickering/Cycling Direct|
Yes she did! Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio is the first ever South African to finish in the top ten of the UCI rankings. Last night she has been also awarded as South Africa Sportswoman of the Year for the second year in a row.
Her season was a blast: victory in the national and African continental road and time trial champioships. .Top ten placings in Strade Bianche, Le Smayn, Elsy Jacobs and Fleche Wallonne., victory in Auensteiner-Radsporttage (stage and overall), 2nd overall in Euskal Emakumeen Bira, 4th overall in the Giro Rosa.
See what she says!
See what she says!
“I'm super happy to finish the year ranked 6th in the world, I couldn't have asked for a better ending to what has been a great year with Bigla. I have been striving to break into the top 10 world ranking for a few years now, and to finally have made it, I'm incredibly grateful. It is not easy as a rider from the Southern Hemisphere to make a career of cycling in Europe, and I hope this achievement can inspire other South African's and African's to realise that with hard work and determination anything is possible. I certainly didn't do this on my own, and I'm incredibly grateful to all of those who have played a role in helping me reach this goal over the years.
Finishing in the top 10 world ranking in the year preceding the Rio Olympics is great for my motivation and confidence. I feel that my consistent performance through the year and the lessons that I have learnt along the way will be a great boost going into 2016, as I continue to strive to push boundaries and grow as an athlete and person.”
Bigla Team manager, Thomas Campana:
“When we started working with Ashleigh it was never the plan to look at the UCI ranking but we noticed it was more important for her to get balance and confidence back in order to have good platform going into an Olympic year of 2016. The top ten position in the UCI ranking is just a confirmation of reaching those goals. It’s a great achievement for Ashleigh to be the first African rider to achieve these top rankings. I think in two or three weeks she will realise what she has achieved this year and it will give her more motivation for next year.
For the team, the success of the captain is important. For next year we have a group of young competitive riders and more experienced riders and to have a leader who is in the top ten riders in the world is very important. This is pure confidence for all the athletes. After the race in Joburg all the girls were walking around with broad shoulders and you could see that they’ve grown and we wanted to end the year like this.”