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House in prime spot
- Updated: February 20, 2011
Kristian House (Rapha Condor Sharp) enjoyed his time under the African sun when he road solo to the finish, to win the first stage of the new Cell C Tour of South Africa on Saturday.
The 2009 British road race champion also took the leader’s gold jersey. Returning this season from a two-year doping suspension, Herman Fouche (DCM) won the bunch sprint for second place while former Lampre rider Milan Kadlec (Czech Republic) rounded out the podium, reports SuperSport.com.
After a nervous start to the race, no attacks were allowed to go until Martin Blaha (Czech Republic) and House finally got away just after the halfway mark. A lack of cooperation from the chasing teams allowed the breakaway to gain a maximum gap of seven minutes 35 seconds.
Blaha found the pace a little too much with 50 kilometress to go when House dropped him on a slight incline.
Asked if he was worried being out front alone so far out from the finish the British rider said: ÔÇ£I waited for him three or four times but I knew the last 40km were quite hilly, so I decided to just ride. I wasn’t even thinking of the win.ÔÇØ
Europcar were dealt a blow when Anthony Charteau had to abandon the race after breaking his collarbone.
The 2010 Tour de France King of the Mountains winner was the race favourite after winning the La Tropicale Amissa Bongo three weeks ago.
Stage Two was due to take the riders on a 163km journey through the streets of Johannesburg including Soweto. Race leader House surprised himself with the win in his first race of the season but knows the overall victory will be hard to achieve.
ÔÇ£We’ll see what happens, I’l take it one day at a time but there’s some big climbs coming up so we’ll see.ÔÇØ
1 Kristian House (Rapha Condor Sharp), ÔÇ¿2 Herman Fouche (DCM) +2min 22secÔÇ¿, 3 Milan Kadlec (Czech Republic)ÔÇ¿, 4 Tyler Day (Team Bonitas)ÔÇ¿, 5 Martin Verschoor (Team Type 1)ÔÇ¿, 6 Alex Meenhorst (Team Differdange-Magic-Sportfood)ÔÇ¿, 7 Daryl Impey (MTN-Qhubeka), ÔÇ¿8 William Dugan (Team Type 1)ÔÇ¿, 9 David George (360 Life), ÔÇ¿10 Jacques Janse van Rensburg (Team Burgos 2016)