Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio

Words & Photos: Cycling South Africa

Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio was introduced to cycling in 2007, and started racing competitively from 2008. It was during her studies at Stellenbosch University where she met her best friend and husband Carl Pasio. Carl was a serious triathlete, and it was through him that Ashleigh developed a passion for endurance sports.

Although always being sporty by nature, Ashleigh mostly dabbled in team sports at school, but it was Carl who introduced her to competitive endurance sport. After trying out triathlon and duathlon, and struggling with subsequent running induced injuries, Ashleigh turned her focus to cycling. “It was a decision I will never regret!”


Ashleigh is driven by passion and purpose, and draws her inspiration from life and the greatness of God. Pushing her body to the limits every day reminds her of how wonderfully and beautifully we are all made.


Ashleigh lists being the first African to podium at a UCI World Cup event as one of her greatest personal achievements, which was when she finished in 3rd place at Flèche Wallonne Feminine in April this year. CEO Communications named Ashleigh Africa’s Most Influential Woman in Sport this month, another great honour.


Depending on the time of year and how busy her racing schedule is, Ashleigh trains an average of 15-20 hours per week. Aware that she can have a positive influence on so many people’s lives inspires her to train and race to the best of her ability.


“Beyond my cycling results, I ride for purpose. My vision is to act as an agent of positive change. I would like to be remembered for the person that I am, rather than for the results I achieved.”


The hardest part of being a woman cyclist?

“The biggest challenge that currently faces women's cycling is the lack of TV coverage our sport receives! This poses an extra challenge for us as women cyclists to find ways of promoting our sport. Although this involves some extra work, beyond riding our bikes, I always enjoy a challenge!”