WHITBY cyclist Catherine Williamson rounded off her most successful year of racing with a second place in South Africa’s Momentum 94.7 road race.
This is the second largest timed road event in the world after the Argus where Catherine also sprinted into a silver place.
After two months on the mountain bike in South Africa with her professional team, Team Bizhub, Catherine has notched up podium finishes in all her off-road events, including the Bridge Pioneer Trek, a six-day stage race in the Cape and the Wine2Whales event with her team mate, Ischen Stopforth.
This was after a 13th position at the World Marathon Mountain Bike Championships in France at the end of September on a muddy and technical course. Switching back to the road a few days before the event, none of the Bizhub team were expecting any great performaces after such a long season and the fact all the riders are now full-time mountain bikers - but Catherine and her team-mate were in contention midway through the race.
Eventual winner, British Champion Sharon Laws, broke away and with only a few small teams giving chase, the gap grew.
Coming into the finish, the rest of the lead group fractured on the last climb and on the descent to the finish Catherine attacked.
Taking the tight roundabout at full speed, she had enough gap to hold on to win the bunch sprint and with it the silver medal.
After the race, Catherine said: “Having a Brit come one-two was very special, especially as Sharon is a good friend.
“The whole year I have felt proud to be British with the Olympic and the Tour de France and now this race tops off a great year.”
Catherine has one event left, the Double Century, a 200km team time trial with a charity team Give Me a Chance which supports underpriveliged kids in the Cape.
The team is hoping to be the first charity team to win the mixed category before coming home for a break.