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Thomson takes SA road title in Nelspruit
- Updated: March 3, 2013
Jay Thomson on Sunday became the new South African national road champion after winning the elite championships in Nelspruit.
Louis Meintjes won the Under-23 category after the two Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung riders attacked what was left of the main field with 35 kilometres to ride.
A big group formed behind to bring the dangerous move back but the chase was in vain as Thomson and Meintjes crossed the finish line together to win the championships.
ÔÇ£There are no words that can describe what it means to be the South African national champion,ÔÇØ said Thomson said after his victory. ÔÇ£It feels like a weight has been taken off my shoulders. I am really excited about it and I can’t be happier. I can’t wait to have the jersey on my back on Wednesday in Tirreno-Adriatico.
ÔÇ£I can’t name just one of my teammates today. They were just super strong. We were hoping that one of us would get away and other teams would chase and if it got brought back we’d attack again. When I saw Louis go up the road I attacked up one of the steep sections and got across to him as I sensed that was the moment in the race. With the two of us being in the top four of the time trial on Thursday, we knew we had the legs to take it to the finish,ÔÇØ he said smiling.
The gold medal for Thomson follows his silver he won in the individual time trial on Thursday. Sunday’s result means double gold for Meintjes after he won the Under-23 category in the time trial on Thursday.
ÔÇ£Our feeder team [MTN-Qhubeka World Cycling Centre Africa] made the race really hard on the first two laps,ÔÇØ Meintjes said. ÔÇ£We planned to make it hard on the third lap so on the last little uphill section, I went and got away and shortly after Jay came across and we just stayed away.
“Our plan worked pretty well. It’s just amazing to have the jersey in the team. The way we rode today shows we have incredible depth in the team and we are all very happy,ÔÇØ the 21-year-old concluded.
Thomson will fly to Italy on Sunday night where he will line up in Tirreno-Adriatico on Wednesday. This will be the first time ever that an African team lines up in a WorldTour event.