The cream of the country’s masters’ age group time triallists braved warm and windy conditions on the 29km Time Trial route that kick started the 2013 Msunduzi Road Challenge. Chad Short bossed the tough weather and edged out Bruce Diesel to post the day’s fastest time.
Short had the edge over Diesel, who has just moved into the 45-49 age class, and was eight second faster over the 29km course that started and finished outside the Noodsberg Country Club.
The race was a triumph for Diesel nonetheless, after being dogged by bad luck at the Msunduzi Road Challenge and in his bid to win the UWCT Final time trial rainbow striped jersey.
“I had to slay a few dragons out there today,” said Diesel, who has now set his sights on the UWCT Final in Ljubljana, Slovenia, next year. “It is such a huge opportunity for me because I am the youngest guy in the age group, which is a major advantage. Last year I was the oldest guy in the age group, and I battled with that,” he said.
Neville Ackerman, racing in the UCI rainbow striped jersey that he won at this year's UWCT Final in Trento earlier in the year, raced impressively and finished second behind Gwyn Pine in an expanded category, which included riders that were five years his junior.
“It was a fantastic feeling to be able to race in the rainbow striped jersey today,” he said. “As World Champion I get an automatic entry into next year’s ’Final, but I simply had to race today. I felt I owe it to this great event, and I really enjoyed the time trial.”
The explosive Juanita Venter dominated the women’s time trial. “It was really tough in the wind today,” said Venter. “If I had known it was going to be so strong for the last stretch I would have planned the race a bit differently. But I am very happy with the result and I can focus on the UWCT Final in Slovenia now!”
The elite veteran and masters riders wanting to qualify for a place at the UCI World Cycling Tour Final in Slovenia next year needed to finish in the top 25% of their age groups. In some cases, the age groups had to be combined due to the number of entries received for that age group.
The riders battled with strong wind that posed side wind and headwind conditions, and made the selection of rear wheels critical.
“I opted not to use a solid disc wheel, and I am really glad I did,” said Diesel. “It was a fantastic time trial course, not a course that favoured climbers, but rather a power course,” said Diesel, who managed negative power splits over the one-lap course, and came home registering 360 watts.
“We really need to encourage time trials. Races like this are the lifeblood of the sport, especially for amateurs,” added Diesel.
The Msunduzi Road Challenge road race, over 80km and 109km takes place on full road closure between Noodsberg, Dalton, Harburg and Wartberg on Sunday morning, using a two or three lap configuration.
The 2013 Msunduzi Road Challenge takes place on 26 and 27 October 2013, based in Noodsberg outside Pietermaritzburg. More information can be found at www.msunduziroadchallenge.co.za.
Photo: Reigning world champion inn his age group Neville Ackerman raced onto the podium in his expanded age category in the 2013 Msunduzi Road Challenge time trial in Noodsburg on Saturday. “It felt fantastic to be racing in the rainbow stripes,” he said © Anthony Grote/Gameplan Media
Summary of Results - Msunduzi Road Challenge [Time Trial]
1 Juanita Venter 49:30:11
2 Lee-Zaan Hinrichsen 52:54:80
3 Nicolene Thiebaut 55:59:14 1st
4 Pauline Cound 57:00:87 1st 50-54
5 Adele van der Walt 01:04:56 1st 40-44
1 Vaughan Cronje 48:57:56
2 Jan Van Den Berg 52:57:12
3 Roger Rennie 54:20:14
1 Gwyn Pine 45:20:00
2 Neville Ackermann 46:43:00
3 Willem van den Berg 47:06:48
1 Chad Short 44:11:00
2 Bruce Diesel 44:19:00
3 Donovan van Gelder 45:06:00
1 Francois Geldenhuis 44:53:00
2 Ronald Stockwell 45:49:00
3 Bradley Venter 46:09:00
1 Richard Waylin Young 46:28:00
2 Heinrich Stroebel 49:04:00
3 Kyle Walker 51:36:00
Issued on behalf of Gameplan Media for 2013 Msunduzi Road Challenge – PMB