On a cold winters morning and raining clouds looming in the distance 11 ladies lined up and they were off to a blistering start and the ladies were trying to split the bunch early in the race. The ladies race was 40mins + 1 lap and the ladies field stayed together for the entire race and it came down to a bunch sprint.
On the back final back straight Maroesjka made sure that she entered the final corner 1st as the sprint down to the finish line from there is short and she did just that taking the win.
In 2nd place was Hazel Magill and 3rd went to Awa Bamogo with the rest of the field hotly contesting the sprint.
With 23 riders on the start line all of them looked pretty hungry for the win in a very strong Cat 3 field. The race started very hot with the bunch stretched out from lap 1 and it looked like a breakaway would get off the front of the bunch. After 4 laps and no breakaway was allowed to go as the bunch wasn’t allowing anyone to breakaway. The race eventually settled down and with a hot pace being set on the front the bunch was thinning out lap by lap. When the bell was rung for the final lap it was clear that the race was coming down to a bunch sprint .
As the bunch approached the final tight 90 degree bend the bunch caught some back markers and this caused havoc and riders crashed as they tried to avoid back markers and trying to contest the sprint at the same time. With the crash in the final corner only 5-6 riders were left to contest the sprint and Faiek Carter took the win ahead of Buhle Kobocwana in 2nd and 3rd went to Timothy Mehl edging out John Martin and Neil Benjamin for 4th and 5th respectively.
The ambulance was deployed to attend to the riders who had crashed in the final corner. We hope that everyone that crashed heals up quickly and hoping to see them back in the league racing.
After a long wait for the start of the Cat 2 race as the ambulance had to attend to the Cat 3 crash we could feel the nerves in the air with a big starting bunch of 47 riders. On a tight criterium like Fort iKapa it was going to make for some interesting racing trying to keep 47 riders together without any incident.
As the race finally started Robby Rodrigues immediately strung the field out setting a massive tempo on the front and this caused small gaps throughout the bunch. Lap 2 started and still Robby kept the hammer down and it was clear that he didnt want to bring another race on the day to come down to a bunch sprint. Ozzie seemed to be watching and patrolling all moves on the front of the bunch and with his Bellville Cycling team in support he no doubt wanted to keep the bunch together no matter what.
Everyone was relieved to see Robby off the front of the bunch and this gave everyone a nice breather but that only meant that it was someone else turn to try and breakaway. With no moves allowed to get away Robby put in another massive attack on lap 3 and he got a small gap and he was followed by Glen De Goede and the 2 riders managed to keep the gap to the bunch for a full lap. With no proper co-ordination on the front of the bunch the gap grew slowly to about 20secs with Robby and Glen working well together to build on their breakaway.
After 3 laps it was clear that the bunch wasn’t going to catch the 2 leaders soon and that forced Malcolm Isaacs to try and get across to the 2 leaders on his own. He quickly managed to get across and join Robby and Glen and no doubt they were relieved to have another rider with them to help share the workload. Ian Naude looked very determined to get across to the breakaway but with no team mates to help he seemed doomed.The rest of the teams wasn’t able to put together a proper chase either and lap by lap the gap grew bigger and bigger and eventually the 3 leaders were out of sight.
It was clear that the race win would be contested between the 3 leaders and they had enough time to play a little cat n mouse on the final lap. It was difficult to call who the win would go to but as the 3 men came out of the final corner Robby was leading and he managed to hold on for the win just ahead of Glen De Goede in 2nd and Malcolm taking 3rd place. The bunch finished nearly 1 min behind the winners and thankfully there wasn’t any serious crashes in the cat 2 race.
As the Cat 1 and u19 boys lined up the wind started picking up and the temps dropped with the ever looming rains seeming like it was just around the corner. 28 riders had lined up with lots of the teams and riders still making their way back home from the Tour de Limpopo. Theuns vd Bank knew that this was a perfect opporunity to try and stretch his overall GC lead but Chris Cronje from Alfa Bodyworks his nearest competitor on GC came out to try and close the gap.
The Cat 1 race just like the Cat 2 race was stretched out from lap 1 by Jack van Wyk from Hartlief Deli who was seemingly looking to split the bunch and work for his team mate Theuns vd Bank and by lap 2 the bunch was split into pieces. Jack, Rocco, Rudie Kellerman and Alex Heward managed to get a small gap off the front and the 4 riders rolled turns nice and smoothly and soon the gap grew close to 30 secs. In the chasing bunch was Chrispin Fourie, Chris Cronje and Theuns who had 2 riders in the breakaway so he wasn’t going to contribute to the chase.
After a few laps Chrispin tried to solo his way across to the 4 leaders but with the wind picking up more and more it was going to be near impossible so he made his way back into the small chase bunch.. By the half way stage in the race the lead had grown to over 1 minute and it was clear that the 4 leaders would be contesting the sprint for the win and with 2 riders from Hartlief Deli, Jack and Rudie it was going to be interesting seeing how they would play out things to get the better of Rocco King who recently signed for Pro Touch Continental team and Alex Heard from the Mad Macs team. Coming out of the last bend 90 degree bend Rocco had the lead and he opened his sprint and it came down to a very tight sprint between he and Rudie for the win. Rocco managed to hold onto the win narrowly edging out Rudie who had to settle for 2nd place on his birthday and Jack van Wyk took 3rd place with Alex being the unlucky rider from the breakaway taking 4th place. The chasers were over 2 mins behind the leaders and Crispin Fourie took 5th, Chris Cronje 6th and Theuns 6th earning some more valuable GC points.
The next race is Killarney this coming weekend for some more fast and furious circuit racing.