Pietermaritzburg - South Africa has dominated on the first day of the Confederation of African Cycling (CAC) road championships claiming all but one of the gold medals that were on offer in Wartburg, Pietermaritzburg on Monday.
The junior women kicked off the day and was won by the South African team of four although they were the only team in the event.
The junior men's race was also dominated by the hosts as they powered to a victory over the Moroccan and Namibian teams.
The elite events were closely contested with the host nation claiming the gold in the women's race and Ashleigh Moolman Pasio was happy with the performance considering none of the ladies had ridden together in a team time trial before Monday.
"We just wanted to go out there and have fun. It was a really nice course but it was quite tiring and we have been travelling a lot recently with the recent SA Champs in Nelspruit but we are really happy to win today," the recently crowned national time trial champion said.
It was the elite men's team that produced the strongest ride in their category to beat the more fancied South African team of four to the title and Merhawi Kudus was elated with his team's effort in the hot conditions.
"We have had to travel from Europe where it has been really cold so it was going to be hard for us today but winning a continental championship title is great and I really can't believe that we managed to win today," an elated Kudus mentioned.
The Eritreans had a slight scare on the start line and Kudus was worried that it could affect their ride.
"One of our riders got a puncture on the start line which I thought might make the race a lot more difficult and made us a bit more nervous but we managed to sort it out and get through the course well and I am still so surprised that we managed to win here today," he said.
The South African team was slightly annoyed that they were unable to win the gold medal and Louis Meintjes was quick to point out that they are professional riders so travel is no excuse for not winning.
"These guys also had a long way to travel and after last week we were quite tired but that is what we get paid to do. We are obviously disappointed with the result however we have no excuse for what happened although we put in our best effort and congratulations to the guys from Eritrea.
"Let's hope that the rest of the week goes better and we can win some medals for South Africa," a positive Meintjes said.