It hasn’t been the easiest of training weeks for Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio. She is still suffering from the aftermath of her crash in Durango-Durango. “I was drinking in that Spanish race when an uneven road surface knocked my handlebars away. I was out of chance and took a hard smack. I broke my second rib and sprained my tailbone. Especially that rib is causing me a lot of trouble. For a while I couldn’t do any interval training because the pain was too much when I breathed heavily and deeply. But my legs are still good. That’s why it was frustrating not to start in the Tour of Burgos.”
As a precaution, she skipped the Spanish stage race. The South African still has goals, starting with the Women’s Tour. “I really like this race. This was the race that first showed the potential of women’s cycling. This tour is a benchmark for what women’s cycling should look like. The community was involved and informed about the stages. There is always a real buzz created around the Women’s Tour. In 2016 I finished second here, but this year I want to go for the overall win. This race is extra special for me because my mother is English.”
So Moolman-Pasio is hoping for a good result, but is left with an uncertain factor. “The legs are good. I’m pedalling my powers, but we’ll have to wait and see how my body reacts in the race itself. This season I have taken the next step. Now I also want to show that I am strong. I’ve had some bad luck and made some mistakes, so I haven’t been on the podium in a WorldTour race yet this season. I want to get rid of that in the Women’s Tour.
When asked why she still managed to make great strides this season at the age of 36, Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio is resolute: “Indoor training. Training on my Tackx Neo2 and Zwift is harder than cycling in the real world. Through the resistance of the rollers, you stimulate your muscles in a way that is similar to strength training. So it is like a bicycle training combined with fitness. Another important advantage for me: on a trainer you don’t have to take into account your surroundings, so you can really get into the zone and race on instinct. That helps me to get in the zone more easily in race situations. With the Women’s Tour and the Tour de France, we have two important goals coming up. I hope to win these races.
Team SD Worx will start in the Women’s Tour with Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, Roxane Fournier, Chantal van den Broek-Blaak, Elena Cecchini, Marlen Reusser and Christine Majerus.