Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio is keen to end her Team SD Worx period with a top performance at the Tour de Romandie

Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio is keen to end her Team SD Worx period with a top performance at the Tour de Romandie

"At Team SD Worx I have become a better rider "


With the Tour de Romandie, the final road race of this season is coming up for Team SD Worx. This first edition of the Swiss World Tour race will take place between 7 and 9 October. For Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, it will be her last race in Team SD Worx colours. "I would like to finish with a top performance with this team. The past two seasons have been very instructive."

Linked race Tour de Romandie - Linked cyclists Demi Vollering Marlen Reusser Anna Shackley Chantal Van Den Broek-Blaak - Gekoppelde ploegleiders: Anna van der Breggen Danny Stam

The Tour de Romandie is a new WorldTour race with quite a lot of altimeters, ideal for climbers. "Especially the second stage I see as a great opportunity to score," said Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio. "That's a tough stage that ends on a mountain top. Every day there is quite a bit of climbing. I hope to triumph in a stage or at least ride top-three to end my period with Team SD Worx in a nice way."

The 36-year-old South African looks back on her two seasons with this team with satisfaction. "It was great. This team has a fantastic environment, with top professionals. You can tell from everything that this is the best team in the world. There is the professional set-up with sponsors like SRAM, Specialized, Garmin, Zipp,... But apart from that there is a lot of expertise, not only with the staff, but also with the riders. Anna van der Breggen, Danny Stam, Chantal van den Broek-Blaak, Christine Majerus... They have been in road cycling for so long that I learned a lot from them."

Which she reaped the benefits of. In the Giro Donne last year, she impressively managed to win a mountain stage. "I still get goosebumps when I think back to that race week. How dominant we rode there. That hadn't happened much in cycling before. That I could contribute to Anna van der Breggen's last big win is a great memory. Especially because Team SD Worx then populated the entire final podium with Anna Van der Breggen (1st), Demi Vollering (3rd) and me (2nd). That was very special."

"I became a more complete rider in the colours of Team SD Worx. Because I did not become a professional cyclist until I was 23, I could definitely learn a lot on the tactical side. Dutch youth grow up on their bikes, so to speak. How they read races, I could learn a lot from them. By being surrounded by exceptional cyclists, I have made strides. For example, I learned from Anna van der Breggen how she managed to keep composure. This year, I felt I had made progression on every level. Hence my choice not to end my career as previously planned but to continue."

Moolman-Pasio hopes to add a second big win to her palmares at Team SD Worx in the Tour de Romandie. "With this form, there was definitely more in it this season, but I've had my share of bad luck. Heavy crashes in Durango-Durango and the Simac Ladies Tour. A mechanical in the Flèche Wallonne and an illness at the end of the Tour de France threw a spanner in the works. But that is inherent to the sport. I can handle setbacks better now. At the World Championships in Wollongong, for example, I put in a strong performance, despite the heavy crash in the Simac Ladies Tour a few weeks earlier. So the form is still good. That only gives more motivation to finish on a high at Team SD Worx."

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