ANRIETTE Schoeman (Mecer Africa Silks) made her fifth podium appearance this month when she won the Anglo American Kumba Iron Ore Classic in Kathu this weekend.
Port Elizabeth's Schoeman finished second in the Dome to Dome Classic in Johannesburg, first in the Makro Bestmed Cycle Tour in Port Elizabeth, second in the Makro Bestmed MTB Challenge, also in PE, and second in the Investec PE to Plett MTB race in the mixed category with Yolande Speedy.
This weekend she went one better, coming first in Kathu.
The women started the 105km Classic with the open men's group. From the start, a fierce pace was set by the MTN, Westvaal BMC, Ubuntu and NuWater teams.
The high tempo left most riders behind within the first 6km, with top riders being left behind 10km into the race.
Schoeman and Maroesjka Matthee (Intellibus) were the only women left in the main bunch with 85km to go.
Attacks by Westvaal, MTN and Ubuntu at a very high pace of 62km/h, caused Matthee to lose contact with the leading group, leaving Schoeman as the leading woman in the bunch.
Another salvo of attacks caused the leading bunch to split into two groups, with Schoeman now in the chasing bunch.
The front group were eventually caught by Schoeman and the chasing bunch on the flat.
This played right into the PE rider's hands as the chasing bunch got bigger, with more competitors trying to get to the front – slowly increasing the time gap on Matthee's group.
With 50km to go, it was clear Schoeman (Mecer) would remain in front as the last 30km was into a strong headwind.
Schoeman finished in 2:49;27, with Matthee second in 3:08;00 and Erna du Toit third in 3:25;49.
Vanessa Hayward, South African actress, model and TV presenter, finished in a well-deserved 3:39;04. Elzaan Mathewson (Mecer) was the first junior girl to finish the 105km race.