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Potgieter pips the field to take Tour Durban title in KZN
- Updated: April 25, 2016
Bradley Potgieter added the aQuellé Tour Durban title to the impressive catalogue of victories by the on-form RoadCover team as he edged out Telkom Pro Cycling’s Herman Maree on the line, while seasoned pro Lise Olivier added her name to the women’s trophy for a second time after her Time Freight eTeam totally dominated the women’s race.
The core of the Europcar team that took Ryan Gibbons to victory last year, the RoadCover outfit sported Cape Town Cycle Tour winner Clint Hendricks, who proved to be something for a marked man. The team used this distraction well, and sent Potgieter away in a key breakaway on the closing leg back down the M4 coastal freeway to the finish at Moses Mabhida Stadium.
In what proved to be an intriguing arm-wrestle between the strong Telkom Pro Cycling outfit and RoadCover in tough windy conditions, the Telkom strategy to contain the race at a steady rolling pace to prevent any breakaways seemed to be working in the first half of the race.
‘We let that happen over the climb (to Pinetown) and we made sure we had most of our guys there,’ said Potgieter.
‘When we linked onto the M4 highway to Ballito we made the call to make the racing harder because Telkom were happy to just ride consistently.
‘That smooth easy riding doesn’t suit our team,’ he added. ‘We like hard racing!’
‘We got a few of our guys to start attacking and counter attacking until the pressure got to them and the split happened in the bunch. I just slipped into the move,’ said Potgieter.
He was taken to the line by team mate Gustav Basson, part of Team SA at last year’s African Games in Congo, who made sure he had space to attack. ‘I was quite confident in my legs. I took it early out wide on the right to avoid the mess and took it to the line,’ said a delighted Potgieter.
‘The communication in our team is key. We are all friends off the bike and friends on the bike, and that just sets the tone.
‘We are all there to dig a hole for ourselves if we need to, to bury ourselves for another rider. That self sacrifice is just awesome,’ he added.
Telkom Pro sprinter David Maree finished second with Herman Fouché (Darkhorse AutoDen) third, just ahead of Under-23 speedster Rohan du Plooy.
Mountain biker Brendon Davids excelled to finish right in the mix at the end sprint, crossing the line seventh. Ryan Harris (Genasys) took the junior laurels.
In the women’s race Olivier rounded off a thoroughly dominant showing by the Time Freight eTeam to win a three-way sprint for the title.
Their five strong outfit attacked from the get-go and used the push up to Pinetown to whittle the women’s peleton down to six riders, with Olivier winning the Queen of the Mountain hot-spot.
From the turn at top of the M4 at uMdloti the concerted attacks and counter-attacks started, which saw Olivier and Juanita Venter break away alone at the front.
‘Vera (Adrian) then miraculously managed to bridge the gap and so we were three working together. As it always does when it gets tactical at the end a few others managed to join the front group so there were five coming into the finish,’ said Olivier.
‘The finish was a proper team effort and we managed to get first and second,’ said a satisfied Olivier, who could reflect on a great outcome for a team, that is made up of riders of varying experience and strengths.
‘Everyone gets a job on the day and we have different objectives for each rider – to expect a new rider to attack in the first 10 kays is unreasonable. We have a really good mix that is working well for us at the moment.
‘In a women’s team to get a mix that really works well together is quite special,’ said Olivier. ‘We are honestly a tight knit group and we are ready to sacrifice for each other and it doesn’t matter who crosses the line first.’
She said the high standard of racing in the women’s division was pleasing given the loss of some riders to other events on the same weekend, and professional commitments to European teams.
‘It is one of my favourite races,’ she added. ‘It is properly organised and the full road closure is something that we really enjoy, and we keep coming back to this race. KZN is one of our favourite places to come and race,’ she added.
The second hotspot was won by Vera Adrian, who finished second overall to make it a Time Freight eTeam one-two, with Brittany Petersen clinching her first major road race podium scooping third ahead of Juanita Venter.
Picture of Potgieter celebrating victory courtesy of Anthony Grote/Gameplan Media
1 Bradley Potgieter 2hr 20min
2 David Maree 2:20
3 Herman Fouché 2:20
4 Rohan Du Plooy 2:20
5 Chris Jooste 2:20
6 Morne van Niekerk 2:20
7 Brendon Davids 2:20
8 Paul van Zweel 2:20
9 Gustav Basson 2:20
10 Dennis Van Niekerk 2:20
1 Lise Olivier 2.54
2 Vera Adrian 2.55
3 Brittany Petersen 2.55
4 Juanita Venter 2:55
5 Michelle Benson 2.56
55km Cyclocross Men
1 Marco Joubert 1:47:09
2 Joshua Nelson 1:48:09
3 Cayde Muldoon1:51:41
55km Cyclocross Women
1 Hayley Smith 1:56:29
2 Frankie du Toit 2:06:48
3 Yolande Smith 2:22:09