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Olympic gold medalist Emma Snowsill is spending time in Stellenbosch, South Africa. The Australian is using the South African terrain to gear up for the 2011 season by mountain biking and trail running to improve her strength.
The Queenslander has settled into her adopted home in Stellenbosch, a town in the Western Cape Province perhaps better known as a rugby stronghold and wine-producing region than for triathlon.
Yet it is this sheltered valley, about 50km east of Cape Town, that is providing Snowsill with the scenery she hopes will inspire her to a fourth world title next year.
“What an amazing part of the world,” she said. “After only a few days I can see why so many athletes come here.” The Olympic champion traded her Gold Coast base for South Africa to train under Germany’s national team coach, Roland Knoll.
She felt she needed a change of scenery to reignite her passion for the sport after battling her way back from injury and illness this year.
The hilly terrain and forests surrounding Stellenbosch have provided just that. Snowsill has taken up mountain biking and trail running to improve her strength and is already feeling the benefits.
“The trails are just incredible and makes easing into the pain of starting back training so much better,” the 29-year-old said. “Time flies running through the forests here.”