British cyclist Catherine Williamson (Team bizhub) finished off her South African campaign in fine style by being the best-placed international rider in the 105-kilometre Pick n Pay Cape Argus Cycle Tour in Cape Town on Sunday.

Williamson, who will be jetting back to her home in Yorkshire next week after more than two months in South Africa, snatched the final podium position in a mass sprint that was made extremely tricky due to a strong headwind.

“I’m really pleased with third,” said a beaming Williamson afterwards. “Taking the profile of the race into account, it is probably the best result of my career.”

Williamson, who said the result “matches or even surpasses” her fourth place in last year’s British national championships, was a prominent figure at the head of the peloton throughout the event that took place in blustery conditions around the Cape Peninsula.

“We drove the course beforehand, so I had a reasonable idea of what to expect. It seemed like a course that would aid a small breakaway group, so I was very attentive throughout.”

Williamson said she tried to mark Fabiana Luperini, the diminutive Italian who has won the female version of the Giro d’Italia a record five times.

“She is an experienced campaigner and I knew she would read the race well. Due to the wind, it was critical to be in the right place at the right time.”

Although she was hoping to get away in a small group, Williamson said she was confident that she would stand a good chance should things stay together.

“I felt good throughout the race. Despite the long climbs, which usually don’t suit me, I was in no difficulty at all.”

The Brit – who has competed in most of the UCI’s World Cup events – said the race was one of her most memorable cycling experiences.

“There was this incredible atmosphere before and during the race. It seemed the entire city had come to a halt just for it.”

Williamson said she would now focus on races in Britain and Europe that would put her in a position to be selected for her country’s Commonwealth Games team. “The national championships (in Pendle at the end of June) are probably the most important.”

She said she would rejoin the Team bizhub outfit later in the year for the big season-ending events such as the Pick n Pay 94.7 Cycle Challenge.

The Pick n Pay Cape Argus, which is the world’s largest timed event with about 30 000 participants, was won by Anriëtte Schoeman (Nashua) for a record sixth time. She was followed home by former team-mate Robyn de Groot (MTN).

Issued by:

Full Stop Communications

Coetzee Gouws
041 368 4992
082 575 7991

On behalf of:

Team bizhub