Typical Durban weather for brilliant SA Road Champs

The Durban weather played its part again in presenting yet another great day for racing on Day 3 of the 2012 Time Freight SA Vets, Masters, Schools & Tandems Road and Time Trial Championships, that took place in Westville today (Saturday).

All credit to the organisers once again for providing completely safe riding conditions and pulling out all the stops with total road closure in the Westville CBD. Using the M13 freeway in both directions as the route for the racing, those who know the area well will agree that the challenges presented by some very tough uphills offered a very competitive route profile and certainly splintered the pelotons early in the races.

The 14km circuit on the M13 started and finished opposite Thekwini Toyota in the heart of Westville, with the course running westbound until the Dawncliff off ramp, where cyclists turned and accessed the east-bound carriageway toward 45th Cutting, where they turned once again to complete their loop back to Westville.

Racing was highly competitive, as was to be expected, with a fantastic display of sportsmanship between the riders on the day.

Jeremy Maartens claimed the Veteran Men 30-34 age category after playing a tactical waiting game. He completed the 9-lap race of 126km in 03 hours 26 minutes 26 seconds. “It was a long, hot day – I sat right at the back for the first six laps and only put the pressure on from about lap 7,” said Maartens. “I had a really good day today, and when those days come along you have to use them. I was pretty consistent throughout.

“The circuit was excellent; it was world-class and the road closure was phenomenal. Thanks to KZN Cycling for their brilliant organisation.”

Jacques Fullard claimed top honours in the Veteran Men 35-39 age category. “This was quite a selective group so you really had to read your fuel gauge properly,” said Fullard. “The composition of the final break was really a group of experienced riders, and I had to dig deep to stay with David Garrett over the crest of the last hill. When I attacked, he did not respond and it was all the inspiration I needed, and getting the gap in the last kilometre was great – I am ecstatic!

“Hats off to the organisers – we couldn’t have asked for a better well-organised race than this.”

The Veteran Women’s 30-34 112-kilometre race (8 laps) saw Lynette Burger annihilate the field from just after midway. “We started off slow with tempo riding and my aim was to try and make a move. I managed to get a gap near the start/finish on lap 5, and then it became a time trial for me again,” laughs Burger. “I am very happy I won this.

“The course was obviously hard, and the wind was from all directions, so we even had to work hard on the downhills. Either way, we couldn’t rest, but I loved the course. It was spectator friendly so it was great to hear the cheering along the route!”

Stefano Madies, representing the Veteran Men’s 40-44 group, finished 126km in 03:29:40 and was thoroughly chuffed with his victory. “The race was good, there was an early breakaway of five guys, which whittled down to two and luckily we caught them on the last lap. Near the end, there was one rider in front – Hansie Joubert – and we managed to catch him on the final crest before the finish.

“It was touch and go; sometimes the breakaway succeeds, sometimes it doesn’t and in this case I was lucky.”

Tomorrow (Sunday), the School Boys and Girls, and Tandem categories will race on the same course.

Visit www.finishtime.co.za for LIVE timing as the racing progresses, and for the final results.

Photos: Mylene Loumeau/CyclingSA