South Africa’s Mariske Strauss and Cherie Redecker finished seventh and eleventh respectively for Team South Africa on the testing Naranga Forest Course at the Commonwealth Games today, 12 Apri 2018.
Strauss ended 4min 48sec behind England’s gold medallist, Annie Last, the same rider who partnered her in the recent Cape Epic seven-day event.
Germany-based Redecker punctured fairly early on and was never able to make up the lost ground and was +10:52 back. This is a brutal, unforgiving sport, and both South Africans were reduced to tears afterward as the race stress drained from them.
‘I had a terrible start so I think I pushed a bit hard and ended up going too deep and struggled. It was a tough day out but we’ll keep on fighting,’ Strauss said.
Strauss raced the gruelling Cape Epic seven-day event which ended less than three weeks ago and says she may have felt it.
‘Yeah, the legs were a little bit fried as it’s been a long month’s racing. But still, well done to all the winners today.’
For Redecker there was both sadness and happiness.
‘I had a great start, was feeling amazing. I had good rhythm and was catching the girls but then on the second lap and quite far out, I got a puncture. I plugged it and bombed it but not hard enough and it was softening so team mechanic JP Jacobs changed my wheel very quickly. I tried to relax and catch but just couldn’t close that gap. But the support was amazing.’
‘I’ve rediscovered my love and joy for this sport now that I’m more settled in Germany. I have to thank the incredible support from my coach, family, friends, Team SA, SASCOC, Cycling SA and manager Erica Green – they’ve all been brilliant. Now it’s back to Germany and then back to Egypt for the African Championships next weekend,’ Redecker said.