The WP Cycling Association and Club 100 hosted another exciting Red Hill challenge around the Southern Peninsula on 14 April 2019.
A wet and cold morning meant a lot of race day nerves at the ladies start of the WP Red Hill Road Race. As the first targeted race of the year for the ladies of the UCT Cycling Team, this was the debut for Cristina Heywood and Anna Stelzner in the first team squad, along with seasoned Courteney Webb, Saskia van der Merwe and Simone Faulmann.
Starting at Red Hill Informal Settlement, the ladies rode two 25km laps with 861m of elevation over the 50km with the cat3 men. The race began up the gradual drag towards Smitswinkel, then turns into the descent into Simons Town and up and over the infamous Red Hill with it’s beautiful and challenging switch backs before the steep descent back to the start. On the second lap, the summit of Red Hill was the finish.
As the start gun went, the ladies and cat3 men were off. “The rain had thankfully subsided to a light drizzle, although the roads were still wet especially through Simons Town. You could see the water sitting on the tar” explains Webb. “This caused the bunch to ride very cautiously and not take any risks on the downhills”.
The bunch stayed together until the first kick at the base of Red Hill at the end of the first lap. Courteney Webb, Saskia van der Merwe and Catherine Pellow-Jarman (Stellenbosch University) were all together at the base of Red Hill. Webb put in an attack to shake the ladies and continued to hold a strong pace up the climb. This secured her the KOM at the summit as well as a few good minutes lead on the other ladies.
Webb joined onto a few small chase packs of cat3 men helping her maintain her lead on the other ladies, although tackled Red Hill the second time alone. Confident in her lead, she “rode her own pace up the climb” and took the win. Pellow-Jarman finished 2nd ahead of Saskia van der Merwe in 3rd.
Race Report: UCT Cycling