Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio achieved her best result yet in Fleche Wallonne today, climbing to second place. The South African continued her impressive run in the mid-week classic, one in which she’s been in the top 10 on five previous occasions.
Coming into the final, the race conclusion seemed unpredictable with a dangerous 4-rider group off the front. Cervélo Bigla Pro Cycling Team added firepower to the chase and with the move neutralized at the bottom of the Mur de Huy, Moolman-Pasio was ready to contest the win up the steep climb.
“I’m very happy. It would be nice to win and it was close but I’m happy with a World Tour podium. We’re getting there one step at a time,” Moolman-Pasio said.
“It was a game of poker today. It was a perfect run from the team. Everyone was 100% committed in going for the victory. I could really feel that. My legs felt super good and I was so motivated after seeing the great teamwork.”
Moolman-Pasio credited the World Tour podium to Team Manager, Thomas Campana – who she said kept her calm on the radio.
“There was a moment of panic when the four went off the front and the big teams were there. Thomas really knows his game and gave me such good direction. He came on the radio and told me to stay calm. Cille [Uttrup Ludwig] did an amazing job to maintain the gap. We didn’t want to bring it back too quickly because we didn’t want counter attacks. When we hit the bottom of the Mur, they were in sight and I felt so good going up. I was unfortunately boxed in when I wanted to make my move but I could only go with about 150m to go and that wasn’t the steepest part anymore. We were very close to the win and I am happy.”
In previous years, her results were as follows: 2017 6th, 2015 4th, 2014 5th, 2013 3rd, and 2012 5th. Today saw a once again impressive Moolman-Pasio who has been knocking on the door all season. The team will continue the Ardennes classic campaign in Liege-Bastogne-Liege on Sunday.