Brown best in Durban | SASCOC - SASCOC

Brown best in Durban

As expected, it came down to a bunch sprint at the Engen Dynamic Cycle Challenge in Durban on Sunday, with Arron Brown (MTN Qhubeka) once again trumping his arch-rival Nolan Hoffman of the Tasol GT Team.

In cloudy and overcast conditions, with the occasional light rain to make the already windy route tricky by making the roads slippery, the race delivered drama.

The big climb up to Westville North 20km into the race was expected to see the attacks come, but MTN pushed the pace hard up the climb to control proceedings.

Once at the top of the climb, the peleton reached speeds of to 70km/h going down towards New Germany. Various attacks went off the front but were immediately pulled back, the most dangerous coming at 48km when seven riders opened a gap of around 10 seconds. The leaders, including the likes of Jason Bakke, Jani Tewelde, Johan Rabie, Arron Brown and Hanco Kachelhoffer, were threatening to get away until the peleton pulled them back at the halfway stage of the race.

Martin Weseman (MTN Qhubeka) Richard Baxter (Tasol GT), Hanco Kachelhofer (Bonitas) and Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (MTN Qubeka) made a decisive break as the peleton at the 60km mark as the riders left the Bluff area.

The quartet quickly opened a gap of 45seconds (at 64km along Prospectin).

MTN Qhubeka were quite content to let the four riders go as they had two in the lead group who were working hard to further open the  gap. At 75km they had moved to a lead of 50seconds.

Bonitas and Tasol GT decided to close down the gap. By 85km the peleton had taken 11 seconds out of the lead of the quartet. Two kilometers later and the gap was down to 29 seconds. With less than 10km left, the peleton were 18seconds down and eventually swallowed the leaders with 6km left.

The race came down to a sprint finish and Brown (MTN Qhubeka) was once again triumphant over Hoffman (Sasol GT). ÔÇ£It was a great a team effort by us,ÔÇØ said winner Brown. ÔÇ£We had the numbers, we were the team to beat and we made it count.ÔÇØ

Hoffman was philosophical about his defeat. ÔÇ£Arron is the man to beat right now. But they have the strength in numbers. I am happy with my form right now and expect to reverse my fortunes very soon.ÔÇØ

The women’s race was all but over when Lise Olivier of MTN Qhubeka crested the climb after 20km and proceeded to open a gap over Cherise Tayler. Coming into the Toti area (67km) she had opened a lead over Taylor of 2min and with An-Li Pretorius and Sarah Chemally (both MTN Qhubeka) marking Taylor, Olivier was able to ride away from her rival and cross the finish line almost four and a half minutes ahead of the rest of field.

Second went to Jeaun-Marie Breytenbach; with An-Li Pretorius rounding out the podium.