Geldenhuys, Venter claim double titles at the Msunduzi Road Challenge 2013

Francois Geldenhuys (Port Elizabeth) produced the fastest overall time in the road race of the 2013 Msunduzi Road Challenge on Sunday, which coupled with his Time Trial victory from Saturday. Geldenhuys completed a pair of victories in his age category on a gloomy day in Noodsberg, KwaZulu-Natal.

In what proved to be favourable conditions for riding, the pace of the front runners was quick with a number of fractures occurring along the route, which split the field into a number of smaller bunches.

The pressure applied from the riders was evident but with qualification for the 2014 UCI World Cycling Tour Final up for grabs, everyone was keeping their cards close to their chests and jostling for places in their age groups as opposed to overall positions.

“There was a bit of negative riding early on,” the 30-34 age category winner Geldenhuys said. “The guys that were specifically racing to qualify held us up a bit but when I managed to get free I felt a lot more comfortable. I have been doing a lot of mountain biking and I could feel that my training there really helped me today and gave me that extra bit of power that I needed.

“It was great to come all this way and take two wins from two, I’m really happy,” he added.

Geldenhuys claimed the fastest time of the day when he edged out 16-29 age category winner Adolf Krige by 47 seconds. Krige felt that he produced a great race and with the help of his teammate, Lionel Moolman, he managed to fend off a late attack from local man Kevin Benkenstein.

“It was a really hard course but the race was great and I am happy with how it turned out for me,” Krige said happily. “Myself and my riding partner made our move on the second lap and then at the sprint, I managed to hold out for the win!”

Johannesburg resident Bruce Diesel had enough in the tank to hold off a last gasp effort from Alan Henry and Martinus Scheepers to take the title as the men’s 45-49 age category winner, and add a victory to his second place from the Time Trial on Saturday.

“It was a pretty tough race with two pretty substantial climbs but we got away on the second climb when the group broke up into six riders. The sprint was pretty tough at the end because I was quite tired from yesterday’s TT, so it was great that I had enough in the tank to win my age category,” the 45-49 winner Diesel said.

In the women’s race, Junita Venter produced a dominant display to claim the fastest time when she came home in 03:09:49, which gave her the double after she was the fastest during the Time Trial on Saturday.

Former World Champion and future mother-in-law to Chris Froome, Pauline Cound, managed a second place in the combined women’s 109km race. Cound was pleased with her performance.

“It was a really tough race today and I battled on the climbs but I was happy with how I went,” she explained.

In the men’s 80km race, Johan Spies produced the fastest time to take the 60-64 age group one second ahead of Bobby Nefdt.

Photo: Kevin Benkenstein tried to shake off the challenge from Lionel Moolman on one of the climbs as he charged his way to a second place in the 109km men's 16-29 age category at the Msunduzi Road Challenge in Noodsberg on Sunday 27 October © Anthony Grote/Gameplan Media

Summary of Results – Msunduzi Road Challenge Road Race

109km (click here for the full results)

Men 16-29

1 Adolf Krige 03:01:49
2 Kevin Benkenstein 03:01:50
3 Lionel Moolman 03:01:55

Men 30-34

1 Francois Geldenhuys 03:01:02
2 Michael Viljoen 03:04:28
3 Martin Hillerman 03:04:31

Men 35-39

1 Trevor Rowe 03:04:21
2 Justin Short 03:13:29
3 Johan du Preez 03:16:39

Men 40-44

1 Austin Steyn 03:03:52
2 Martin van Wyk 03:03:53
3 Tat Brummer 03:03:55

Men 45-49

1 Bruce Diesel 03:03:55
2 Alan Henry 03:03:56
3 Martinus Scheepers 03:03:57

Men 50-54

1 Jackie van Eeden 03:04:55
2 Gary Beneke 03:04:55
3 Paul Kraus 03:04:56

Men 55-59

1 Mark Beneke 03:04:55
2 Peter Coombes 03:06:45
3 Willem van den Berg 03:06:47

Women

1 Junita Venter 03:09:49
2 Pauline Cound 03:32:17
3 Mira Spring 03:42:34
4 Elzaan Mathewson 03:44:03
5 Lauren Snell 03:45:12

80km (click here for the full results)

Men 60-64

1 Johan Spies 02:24:19
2 Bobby Nefdt 02:24:20
3 Noel Ziady 02:25:04

Men 65-69

1 Peter Allen Haupt 02:36:07
2 Dave Corrin 02:43:31
3 Brian Evans 02:43:32

Men 70-75

1 Jan van den Berg 02:30:10
2 Hal Mclaren 02:41:05
3 Karel Dolak 02:43:32

Men 75+
1 Michael Smith 03:08:17
2 Walter Bradford 03:16:42
3 Arthur Duncan 03:30:43

Women 55+

1 Dionne Birkett 02:56:57
2 Jennifer Rigby 03:29:06
3 Maria Collins 04:04:34
4 Charmaine Clarke 04:05:22

ENDS

Issued on behalf of 2013 Msunduzi Road Challenge – PMB