What a day, Hokitika really turned it on for Round 4 of the Benchmark series.
Driving over to the coast on Friday afternoon it did not look like the
weather was going to be that great for race day. It rained in true West Coast fashion,
it was tipping down, then a few dry spells then down the rain came again.
Oh well it will be what it will be.
Once everyone arrived we all went out for tea and talked tactics, Nadine & I discussed where we would run in the morning, we need to get our training in but we could not interest Richard in getting up to join us. Richard was team mechanic and feed man.
Nadine was in charge of the tweeting while Mary was behind the wheel of the mighty R8!
Nadine & I got back from our run and told the boys that it was going to be a beautiful day. The boys got fuelled up with breakfast and lots of nervous talk. The support crew went off to the Race Start to get numbers, attend the Manager’s race brief and of course the all important support crew coffee, yet again Nadine gets stuck with ordering Mary’s special latte with marshmallows, kudos to Richard for having cash to buy coffees for the girls!
Numbers are pinned on to riders, spare wheels put into neutral support vehicle, group
hug, yeah nah, group photo and team High5CFO are lined up ready to race.
The support crew get their spot in the convoy and we are off.
One of the checks we got only a few kms into the race was that one of our riders was off the front we were excited about that. Having misplaced our rider list it took us awhile to work out that it was Stu!
Darrell punctured which was bad luck, Darrell has had a lot of good luck on this course so it was a shame that he punctured at the start of the Blue Spur loop as it is near impossible to get back into the race.
Next casualty was Geoff who suffered cramp but there was nothing we could do. Is there anything more painful than watching someone cramp each time they try and swing their leg back over their bike? The three of us in the car were feeling the pain!
It is always hard to leave the riders and move on to take care of the
ones still in the race.
Next team rider to get dropped was Wayne, he got dropped off a couple of times and
fought his way back. Luckily there seemed to be a small group yo-yo’ing off the
back together so he had company to assist with getting back on. Wayne was not that confident with his form
heading into this race but he did pretty good for someone who reckoned they were
not fit. The good news is that he has now got the motivation back to start training and
Scott was the next rider we had to drive past, coming down onto the flat before we hit the Main Highway Scott was in a bunch that past the convoy, Scott was pretty chuffed
to be in a position to pass the team car made a change from being past and left
Heath & Stu were still in the bunch then Stu made a break and we get called up to cover the two riders chasing the break. Scott & his bunch managed to make contact with the peleton.
Well I can tell you it was like old times being at the front end of the race this was awesome. Stu got 3rd so there were
lots of sweaty hugs for the team.
If you want to catch all the updates that we tweeted from the race then check out: https://twitter.com/TourAlps
The tweets fed directly into the "coveritlive" news feed on the race website.
A very good result for the team next race is Queenstown the course will more than likely be to Glenorchy and back finishing at Moke Lake which is a brutal hill top finish.
Race report by Mary & Nadine...
Dylan Girdlestone sealed his second overall victory in the 151km Bestmed Jock Cycle Classique in a dramatic two-man sprint in the third and final stage at Mbombela in Mpumalanga on Saturday.
In the dash to the line, the Westvaal-BMC rider got the better of MTN-Qhubeka’s Ethiopian climber Alem Grmay to steal the stage and overall wins by a single second.
After a series of well-timed attacks by Girdlestone,
the two broke clear of the group containing the main contenders in sight of the finish at the Mbombela Stadium.
The 23-year-old from Pretoria completed the 30th edition of what is believed to be South Africa’s toughest road race in
a combined time of 3:43:02. Westvaal’s Nico Bell secured the final step on the podium in 3:43:12.
“It feels just as good as the first time I won it,”
said an elated Girdlestone. “I’ve always put the Jock down as one of my goal races because it suits me really well. “This year’s route was very much like the old one in that you have a hard final stage with a tough last few kilometres.
“The trick is to stay protected and if you’ve had the easiest ride there, you’ll have the most power – which is exactly what
Although Girdlestone’s small five-man outfit was without the services of Tyler and Dusty Day, he said they had raced tactically to be able to compete against the numerically superior teams.
“The plan was for my team-mates to have an easy ride in the first two stages. I said, ‘You can drop off, just don’t get eliminated’.
“So we went into the last stage all guns blazing.”
Team Abantu sprinter Nolan Hoffman took the day’s first yellow jersey when he came out tops in a bunch sprint in the 43km opening stage between Mbombela, formerly Nelspruit, and White River.
Hoffman crossed the line in 1:05:08 to edge ahead of MTN-Qhubeka’s Ryan Gibbons and team-mate David Maree.
On stage two, a grippy 45km ride from White River to Sabie, Grmay and team-mate Yohans Getachew took advantage of an early attack by Europcar’s Paul van Zweel to forge ahead of the front group over the steep 7km Spitskop climb.
They were reeled in less than a kilometre from the finish by a four-man chase group consisting of Bonitas’s Willie Smit, MTN-Qhubeka’s Nicolas Dougall, Van Zweel and Girdlestone.
Grmay held on for the win ahead of Smit and Dougall as the front-runners were all credited with a time of 1:09:40.
With Hoffman distanced on the climbs, yellow went to Smit.
With time gaps almost negligible, it all came down to the 63km final stage between Sabie and Mbombela, which included an 8km ascent of the iconic Long Tom Pass.
Girdlestone, who won the final stage of the Mzansi Tour earlier this year, said the win had given the team renewed confidence ahead of next month’s Clover Lowveld Tour.
1. Dylan Girdlestone (Westvaal-BMC) 3:43:02
2. Alem Grmay (MTN-Qhubeka) 3:43:03
3. Nico Bell (Westvaal/Bell’s Cycling) 3:43:12
4. Nicolas Dougall (MTN-Qhubeka) 3:43:12
5. Paul van Zweel (Europcar) 3:43:12
6. Kevin Patten (ASG) 3:43:22
7. Yohans Getachew (MTN-Qhubeka) 3:43:28
8. Willie Smit (Bonitas) 3:43:44
9. Ryan Gibbons (MTN-Qhubeka) 3:44:41
10. JJ van Wyk (MTN-Qhubeka) 3:44:46
Original post can be found here...
Cycling South Africa News
South African 1, 2 at Tour of Rwanda, Lill Takes the Tour Win
26 November 2012 – South Africa’s national road cycling team stuck to their game plan and claimed their first victory at the 2012 Tour of Rwanda when Darren Lill retained the yellow jersey after the seventh stage to claim the overall win with compatriot Dylan Girdlestone finishing in second place. The Tour of Rwanda ended on Sunday in Kigali with a stage of 124,3km.
After starting in Kigali nine days earlier, international teams toured the scenic and hilly Rwandan countryside to span 876 kilometres in total, starting with a Prologue on Sunday 18th November followed by eight stages.
For Lill, who was not feeling up to peak fitness prior to the Tour after recovering from a virus, the victory was a pleasant surprise.
“This was an unexpected win for me,” said the 30-year old from Cape Town. “I went as part of the team to help the younger guys, so to claim the overall victory has come as a surprise!”
Lill captained the 6-man national team to victory in his first Tour of Rwanda. “It was a good tour, with challenging stages, and great terrain, which made for positive racing. There is fantastic talent in Africa, but I think my experience in international racing, and being a mentor to my younger teammates gave our team the edge, especially when we cannot use race radios.”
National team manager for the Tour of Rwanda, Ian Goetham was supremely impressed with the team’s performance on his first international outing with the squad. “We had very good days that were well planned, and we succeeded,” said Goetham. “The team camaraderie was very high, and they all understood the goals of the tour. From stage one, the initial plan was to get the yellow jersey and win the tour.
“It was a brilliant team effort, with each one of the six riders contributing to the team’s success. An overall victory for Darren and a second place for Dylan is an excellent accomplishment. David (Maree) sacrificed a lot to work in front, and Avery (Arendse) and Reynard (Butler), both new to international racing, contributed a lot for us to keep the yellow jersey. Shaun (Ward) kicked off the tour with a stage in the yellow jersey [after his combined efforts of the Prologue and stage one, with Girdlestone only seven seconds behind in the GC at that point]. Darren was an excellent team leader.”
Further to holding the top two positions in the top ten of the final GC (general classification), South Africa also won the Team competition. “Considering that this team spends most of the year representing other teams within the country, they worked very well together as a unit. The quickest times of the top three riders in each stage resulted in a team win for us as well.”
Cycling SA’s road cycling director Hendrik Wagener was very pleased with the results. “We always hope for a win when we send a team to an international event. To have a first and second place in the final overall GC is a great achievement, and gives us a great base to build on in the early stages of our aim to take part in more African events, and of course, some valuable UCI points.”
Summary of Results – 2012 Tour of Rwanda – Overall GC
The roads in and around the city of Pietermaritzburg in South Africa will be
the reserve of the world’s best amateur cyclists over the four days of the 2012
Some 500 athletes from 31 countries and all five continents will be racing in
the age-group time trials and road races from August 23rd to 26th.
In its second year, the UWCT (UCI World Cycling Tour) comprised 15 qualifying rounds which were held throughout the world, with the top 25% of each age-group of the qualifiers winning the right to line up for the final in Pietermaritzburg.
UCI Cycling for All Coordinator Andréa Marcellini says she is delighted with the momentum that the UWCT has gained in just two years of existence: “We launched the initiative in 2011 and were very pleased to have seven qualifying rounds, but this year the UWCT has exceeded expectations with 15 qualifying races.”
She added that all the events on the UWCT calendar had met strict organisational, sporting and touristic criteria.
Some of the 2011 World Champions who won their rainbow jerseys in Stavelot, Belgium, last September, will be in Pietermaritzburg to defend their titles.
The fact that this year’s Final is being held in South Africa has also encouraged participation from African countries that were not present in Belgium, such as Lesotho, Mozambique and Namibia.
Pietermaritzburg has an extremely successful history in organising major international cycling events, which have included the 2010 UCI BMX World Championships, and several rounds of the UCI BMX World Cup and the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup. Next year it will be the venue of the UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships and the UCI Masters Mountain Bike World Championships.
The 2012 UWCT Final is being staged under the auspices of Cycling South Africa. Event Director Alec Lenferna, of Real Events Management said: “Preparations for the event are very advanced and we are looking forward to welcoming athletes from all over the world. The city of Pietermaritzburg and its region has already shown on numerous occasions that we are able and willing to host major cycling events of this nature and to have the 2012 UWCT Final here is
another feather in our cap. We are thankful for the continued faith the UCI shows in us as an organising entity.”
He added that various city and provincial departments as well as a large number of volunteers had facilitated the organisation of the event.
Original article can be found here
Cycling South Africa’s Road Cycling Commission has great pleasure in announcing that the following riders have been selected to represent South Africa at the 2012 UCI Road World Championships in Limburg, The Netherlands, taking place from 15 to 23 September.
The following riders have been selected according to
the 2012 Road Cycling Selection Criteria.
Daryl Impey – road race
Jay Thomson – road race and time trial
Reinardt Janse van Rensburg – road race and time trial
Louis Meintjies – road race and time trial
Rohan du Plooy – road race and time trial
Ryan Gibbons – road race
Ryan Felgate – road race
Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio – road race
Cherise Stander – road race and time trial
Robyn de Groot – road race
Joanna van de Winkel – road race
Lise Olivier – road race
An-Li Pretorius – road race
Heidi Dalton – road race and time trial
View original article here