Schoeman sprints to narrow Oudtshoorn win

TOP EP cyclist Anriette Schoeman (Mecer Africa Silks) showed her best form when she outsprinted Carmen Buchacher, from Austria, and Fienie Barnard (Southern Cape) to win her fourth consecutive Pennypinchers Cape Argus Qualifier Tour in Oudtshoorn at the weekend.

Schoeman used this tough 104km race in the Southern Cape as her final preparation for the Deutsche Bank Mauritius Cycle Tour, a route over 100km in Port Louis this weekend.

The women started the Cape Argus qualifier with the men in the open licensed group.

The race started at a high pace and the bunch was broken into smaller groups within the first 2km on the Cango Caves road as a group of four riders moved ahead.

Schoeman made her first move 23km into the race at the Schoemanskloof 2km climb.

Buchacher (Mecer-Austria) managed to go with Schoeman, while Fienie Barnard (Oudtshoorn) missed the break.

With 33km to go, Barnard's group closed the gap at the bottom of the Cango Caves climb on the bunch which included Schoeman and Buchacher.

Schoeman then counter-attacked to take the Queen of the Mountains at the Cango Caves, at the same time leaving Barnard and her group behind.

However, Barnard's group again fought back to catch the group with the two leading women at Schoemans Poort with 20km to go.

In the sprint to the finish, Schoeman took first place in two hours, 57 minutes and 15 seconds.

Buchacher was second in the same time and Fienie Barnard third in 2:57:26.