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Brown looks back

By Mark Etheridge

Arran Brown wrapped up his year with his recent win in Johannesburg’s biggest cycling race, the Momentum 94.7.

And it was the perfect panacea for the Johannesburg rider after he had found the going a bit uphill in the early stages of the season. The former motorcycle racer outsprinted MTN Qhubeka team-mate Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg to win the 94.7 event to continue his love affair with the race.

“Winning the 94.7 was a major goal of mine and one that I had set for myself since the beginning of the year when I joined Team MTN Qhubeka. This victory was really special to me,” he told Road to London 2012.

Indeed he has enjoyed great success in the city’s biggest road race, winning in 2009 for the first time and then ending second last year. His 2009 win was part of a special year as he sprinted his way to a milestone in South African cycling by winning the Triple Crown in the same year ÔÇô winning the Cape Argus cycle tour, the Amashova Classic as well as the 94.7 event.

“I am always really motivated to do well in this race because it is Johannesburg’s biggest race and it’s always nice to end the season off with a major victory before taking time off. I must also dedicate this big win to my team; they all remained focused and committed to supporting me leading into and during the race. Weeks before the Momentum 94.7 I was really tense and stressed but my team helped me remain calm and kept boosting me which ultimately played a huge role in my victory. I was really emotional when I crossed the line in first place.”

Referring to his scratchy form in the early part of the season and Brown puts it down to changed circumstances. “I was struggling to find my usual strength and I battled to get the results I had set out to achieve. This made me really frustrated but I pushed through and eventually I began performing and feeling like my usual self. I believe this had a lot to do with me changing teams from Team Medscheme where I was riding during 2009 and 2010 to MTN Qhubeka this year. I was out of my comfort zone and I had new teammates and staff to work with. I am a very emotional rider but after we spent some intense time together racing abroad in Europe during May and June where we became close as a team I began finding my feet and feeling really happy.”

There’s no doubt that a happy athlete and a winning athlete are on the same page. “I liked how the team became so committed to each other on and off the bike. The staff members on the team were totally committed to helping each of us with anything we needed and together we found this perfect working relationship that brought the best out of the team and me during the second half of the season. I’ve also worked really well with our team coach, Carol Austin from Activeworxs.”

On his 2012 year Brown is buoyant. “Our team principal, Douglas Ryder, has put long hours of hard work into our European campaign and brought a new director, Jens Zemke onto our team from Germany. Jens worked with the best team in the world, HTC Highroad. He will bring great experience to our team when we race abroad. The team will be based in Belgium for most of the year focusing on becoming the first African team to compete in the Tour de France within the next few years.

“Personally I’m looking to up my game and focus on achieving at a high international level. I have won many big classics in South Africa but now I need this opportunity to better myself and together with my great team we are looking forward to going onto bigger and better things.”


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