Fouche's first Argus title and Schoeman makes it seven | SASCOC - SASCOC

Fouche’s first Argus title and Schoeman makes it seven

Herman Fouche won a tight sprint finish to secure his maiden victory in the men’s race and Anriette Schoeman clinched a record seventh women’s title at the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour on Sunday.

Fouche, who was third in 2011 and second in last year’s event, was delighted to win the popular road race, reports Sapa. “It was so close and I really wanted to win this race,” Fouche said. “Last year I came second and it means everything to me.”

Belgian Kristof Vandewalle led a small breakaway in the dying stages, and Fouche tucked in behind 2011 Argus champion Tyler Day as the peloton chased down the leader shortly before the line.

Fouche won in 2hr 39min 55sec, with Day taking second place. Christoff van Heerden finished third to round out a South African clean sweep on the men’s podium.

“Tyler Day has been in really good form and he was a big threat,” Fouche said. “He went out a bit early and I managed to get into his slip. It took me a while to come around.”

Schoeman, 35, also won a sprint finish, edging ahead on the line in 2:55:53 to become the first person to win seven titles in the annual race.

The experienced rider held off a charge from fellow South African Cherise Stander, who took second place, and Sweden’s Jennie Stenerhag, who finished third. Defending champion Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio was fifth.

The 2012 women’s race was marred by a crash near the finish, which brought Schoeman’s ambitions to a halt. She was pleased to avoid another tumble just before the line on Sunday, which involved British rider Sharon Laws who was expected to compete in the Cape Epic mountainbike stage race starting on March 17.

“It was a really fast race. I struggled and I suffered really badly on the climbs, and I had to dig deep,” Schoeman said.

“Last year I came down hard and this time round I’m really grateful I stayed upright. There was a big crash at the finish and I was just very lucky today.”

In the wake of the death of her husband, Olympic mountainbike rider Burry Stander who was knocked down and killed by a minibus taxi while training in January, Cherise Stander produced a brave fight to finish second.

“I know Cherise also really needed this victory, and this one’s for Burry,” Schoeman said, dedicating her victory to the late Olympian.

Stenerhag decided to compete only a few days before the race, ahead of the Cape Epic, and she was relieved to avoid the tumble. “It’s terrible to see a crash again,” Stenerhag said.
“We all know how to ride a bike so there shouldn’t really be crashes like that.”

Results of the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour in Cape Town on Sunday (RSA unless specified):

Men: 1 Herman Fouche 2:39:55, 2 Tyler Day st (same time), 3 Christoff van Heerden st, 4 Iljo Keisse (BEL) st, 5 Johann Rabie st, 6 Till Drobisch (NAM) st, 7 Kristof Vandewalle (BEL) st, 8 Karl Platt (GER) st, 9 Darren Lill st, 10 Shaun-Nick Bester st

Women: 1 Anriette Schoeman 2:52:53, 2 Cherise Stander st, 3 Jennie Stenerhag (SWE) st, 4 Catherine Williamson (GBR), 5 Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio st, 6 An-Li Kachelhoffer 2:54:45, 7 Marissa Stander st, 8 Lynette Burger st, 9 Kendall Ryan (USA) st, 10 Ashleigh Blackwell st