- Strauss hoping title defence will spark return to form
- Defending champ Venter makes his SA senior team debut
- Singh shoots Amajita to victory against Cameroon
- Pace bounces back with strong finish in Thailand
- Blitzboks take it easy before Las Vegas Sevens
- Maripa bags first title of the year in Bolton
- England wrap up Summer Series with 2-0 win against SA
- Five more Meet records at SA Grand Prix
- Fichardt nails 15th Sunshine Tour win at Joburg Open
- SA duo struggle at Tokyo Marathon
Fouche quickest in Paarl
- Updated: March 9, 2011
DCM’s Herman Fouche won Wednesday’s 146-kilometre first stage of the Le Coq Sportif Tour De Boland which started and finished in Paarl.
The race, which went through several towns including Wolseley and Wellington, experienced great traffic management and there was no hint of a repeat snarl-up that marred the second stage of last month’s inaugural Tour of South Africa even
The Elite (category 1) peloton stayed together up the first ascent up Bainskloof, where Olympian Burry Stander got the King of the Mountain hot spot. Then on the treacherous descent towards Wolseley nine riders, including Fouche, SA champion and recent Tour of SA stage winner Darren Lill as well as MTN Qhubeka’s Christoff van Heerden got away into a race-winning break.
Although the MTN Qhubeka and the Cape Town Market outfits were driving the peleton relentlessly, they could not close the gap in time and Fouche sprinted off the front, to take the leader’s jersey, by less than a bike length, in front of Van Heerden to clock 3hr 35min for the stage.
Johann Rabie, overall second on the recent ┬áTour of SA and a member of Team SA at last year’s Commonwealth Games, sprinted into third.
In the women’s race, just 48 hours after winning the overall title at the Columbia Grape Escape mountain bike stage race, Team USN’s Cherise Taylor was back on top of the podium in a stage race leader’s jersey.
Taylor was one of four women left in the leading group as the race reached its finale but was the strongest on the final 600m incline to the finish line, clocking a winning time of 4:12:00.
ÔÇ£It was quite a long stage today and I really didn’t feel great going up the Bainskloof climb. But I knew that if I dropped off I would spend a long time in the wind on my own and that made me hang in. I was surprised how many women dropped off on that climb,ÔÇØ said Taylor, referring to the fact that the women raced in the Category 2 bunch, which included veteran and junior men.
ÔÇ£The men were ‘guttering’ in the wind when the race flattened out and a couple more women got dropped, leaving just four of us. In the last 50 kays I started to feel really good and tried to get into some breakaway moves with the men, but the bunch kept bringing the attacks back.ÔÇØ
Taylor, the current South African Elite individual time trial champion, then powered ahead of her rivals up the final ascent to the finish line. She was followed by Ashleigh Moolman Pasio and Joanna van de Winkel (both Nashua Toyota) in second and third respectively. ÔÇ£It wasn’t really a sprint, more like a power climb at the end. I was feeling good and managed to get ahead of the other girls,ÔÇØ explained Taylor.
Wednesday’s stage of 135 kilometres will have two big mountain passes and we expect that this will play a major role in the General Standings.
Men: 1 Herman Fouche DCM 3h 35min, 2 Christoff Van Heerden MTN Qhubeka same time, 3 Johan Rabie Bonitas st.
Woman: 1 Cherise Taylor USN 4h 12min, 2 Ashley Moolman Passio Toyota Cyclelab, 3 Joanne Van Der Winkel Toyota Cyclelab st.
Junior Men: 1 Oliver Stapleton Cotton Intellibus 4h12min, 2 Eumle Jacobs Intellibus, 3 Daniel Stroebel Mr Price┬á Amateur Cat 2: 1 Charles Solomon 4hr 9min