Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio opened her 2018 World Tour season with a solid performance on Saturday, taking eighth place at the Strade Bianche one-day race in Tuscany, Italy.
A bronze medallist at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Moolman-Pasio again signalled her intent by building on her fine form in the build-up to the Gold Coast showpiece in Australia next month.
Olympic champion Anna van der Breggen of the Netherlands (Boels Dolmans) broke away in the closing stages of the 136km race, held in cold and wet conditions, to win the first leg of the Women’s World Tour in 4:10:48.
With the rest of the peloton being strung out in the chase, Moolman-Pasio put up a fight to secure a top-10 finish, crossing the line less than three minutes off the pace.
A week earlier, the South African had finished second overall and won the mountains classification at the Setmana Ciclista Valencia, a UCI 2.2 race in Spain.
The only woman in the SA road cycling team, Moolman-Pasio was gearing up to lead a lone charge at the Gold Coast Games, in an attempt to replicate her podium performance in Glasgow four years ago.