Port Elizabeth’s Anriette Schoeman will be banking on a team ethic as she targets a second 947 Cycle Challenge title after being included in the Team Bestmed-ASG squad for Sunday’s race in Johannesburg.
The 39-year-old often competes in a solo capacity under the Bestmed banner, but this time she will be part of the team as they strive to capture one of the country’s premier road classics.
After winning the 947 Mountain Bike Challenge last weekend, Schoeman’s focus now switches to the road race and she is grateful for the support from Bestmed over the last three years.
“Their support through good and bad times has been incredible,” she said.
She will link up with the team to take on a strong field of national and international riders in the 94.7km race.
“The aim will be to stick together and to support each other in the last third of the race so that we can possibly get someone in a break or in the sprint.”
Schoeman last won the title in 2008, but is still hungry for more success.
“This event provides good coverage for the brands that support me so my goals are always to do well and to get onto the podium if possible.”
She is aware of the challenges, saying the key issues were “to be prepared and trying to peak at the right time”.
“With it coming so late in the season, there is always the possibility of being tired or injured.”
Schoeman said she had done several races to prepare for the 947 and took part in the recent mountain bike race to help her adapt better to the altitude.
“I do mountain biking to complement my road racing and I have enjoyed the fresh mental approach. But my first love and focus will always be the road.”