Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio to miss Vuelta Femenina

Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, a stalwart of the AG Insurance-Soudal team, will unfortunately miss the upcoming La Vuelta Femenina due to illness, the team confirmed. The 38-year-old South African, heralded as a favourite for the race, was forced to withdraw after falling ill just as she approached peak form. This setback follows her commendable performances in the Ardennes classics and a consistent start to the 2024 season.

“In an instant, my spring goals slipped away from me, just as I was starting to hit my peak form after months of dedicated training”, Moolman-Pasio shared. She added, “I woke up feeling ill on the day of Liège-Bastogne-Liège, yet I honoured the team’s choice to compete. Unfortunately, the illness has worsened this week, forcing me to make the tough decision to prioritize my health and focus on a complete recovery.”

Maud Rijnbeek will step in for Moolman Pasio in the race, which spans from April 28 to May 5. Despite her absence, Moolman-Pasio’s spirit remains with her team, wishing them strength and success in the challenging days ahead.

Sarah Gigante, a promising young rider, who originally would offer substantial support during the race will no doubt step up to become GC leader. Gigante, who triumphed at the Tour Down Under earlier this year, will aim to make a significant impact at the Vuelta, especially as she negotiates a new contract for 2025 and beyond.

Moolman-Pasio, a seasoned competitor with a slew of top-ten finishes in Grand Tours including a notable sixth at last year’s Tour de France Femmes, remains optimistic about returning to competition later in the season stronger and fully recovered.