After 10 years of trying, cyclist Jutatip Maneephan finally claimed individual honours at the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s Cup Women’s Tour of Thailand in Chiang Mai on Wednesday.
The 30-year-old former Asian Games champion accelerated in the last 300m to edge past arch-rival Teniel Campbell of Trinidad and Tobago, the second-stage winner, to win the 84km third and last stage.
She timed 1:57:49 hours to win the stage and her total of 5:46:34 hours also saw her take individual honours to earn the honorary Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn trophy and the pink jersey.
“When I realised that Campbell was catching up, I had to go as fast as I could,” said Jutatip from Roi Et province. “The finish line seemed so far at that point but I crossed it first. Big relief,” she said.
“It’s not easy to compete against foreign riders as they are physically tougher due to more experience in tough competitions but I finally won after I started competing in this tournament at 21. I’m so tired but the hard work paid off.”
Campbell finished second (5:46.34 hours) and third went to Japanese Yumi Kajihara (5:46:43).
Jutatip also won the green and blue jerseys for victories in the sprint and best Asean rider categories.
Jutatip will have no time to relax, however – she has to continue training for the Asian Championship in Uzbekistan, as well as two other events, in China and in Trat province.
“I really miss my family but I cannot go home yet as there are upcoming tournaments that I need to concentrate on. But I always keep in touch with my parents on the phone and they understand me well,” Jutatip added.