Few people realised at the Pick ‘n Pay Amshovashova on Sunday that it was third time that Proline’s Elsa Karsten had competed on the famous road between Pietermaritzburg and Durban.

“I ran Comrades in 2002, and then had my first ride at the Amashova in 2003,” she revealed just after winning the 2004 edition of the KZN classic event.

Elsa is a rare desert rose, nurtured in Namibia, but coming to full bloom in the sporting hothouse of Pretoria, the cradle of so many SA champions in so many sports.

Her Amashova victory has moved her up into the number one spot at Proline above Olympic rider and multi-SA champion, Anriette Schoeman.

“We decided that it was the right thing to do as Elsa is clearly in form and Anriette did not feel so good at the Amashova, and also it takes some of the pressure off Anriette in the late season classic races,” explained Proline’s manager, Alex Cooper.

This late season elevation now means that she is in an even better position to defend the Pick ‘n Pay 94.7 title she won last year with a dazzling display of power sprinting.

Interestingly, Elsa’s victory in KZN means that it is the second time in just over a week that she has beaten Anke Erlank (Microsoft) in a major race.

The former world X-terra champion was deemed by many to be virtually untouchable in SA women’s cycling, but it is the awesome power in Elsa’s legs which is what seems to be almost unapproachable at the moment.

Roll on the 94.7 for the final showdown!