Seasoned Team ENZA/PBC rider David Maree rode to one of the most illustrious victories of his career at the Bestmed Tshwane Classic this morning, with a broken finger!
Defending champion Dylan Girdlestone (Office Guru) attacked with 2km to go and only Maree followed him. “When Dylan attacked nobody followed. I was amazed that nobody reacted. I knew I had to go,” said Maree afterwards.
“I went hard to get to him and thankfully bridged the gap. With 500 metres to go I wacked it and managed to get the jump on Dylan. I was amazed that I managed to stay away!”
Maree rode in solo with 10 metres separating him from Girdlestone.
Maree crashed two weeks ago and broke his finger. He had surgery on the finger a week ago. “Fortunately, I don’t need fingers to pedal,” he smiled.
Nick James rounded off the men’s podium with Travis Barret coming in fourth and Jason Oosthuizen fifth.
In the women’s race Kim le Court got the jump on the field in the final 300 metres, claiming a well-deserved win for Demacon. Her teammate and defending champion, Carla Oberholzer, came in second with Jo van der Winkel in third.
In a wonderful gesture the pro teams announced at the prize giving function that they are donating their prize money to the event charities.
On the day after South Africa’s rugby players made the country proud, today South Africa’s recreational and professional cyclists didn’t disappoint either with the streets of Pretoria being closed for the day to host the city’s signature mass participation ride.
The Executive Mayor of Tshwane, Steven Mokgalapa, also got in on the act. He took part in the 20km route option and engaged with cyclists for almost two hours at the start line.
“This is such a wonderful occasion for Tshwane, and we are committed to growing this event as our big cycling day,” said Mokgalapa. “We will ensure that the Bestmed Tshwane Classic remains an annual event on the city’s calendar and that it receives the city’s full support.”
In the heat of the action the elite men took the wrong split at the bottom of the Tom Jenkins climb, where the 50km route option continued straight, and bypassed the climb, but it didn’t damp the excitement of the day’s festivities.
“We would like to thank the city for helping us to create this wonderful day for cyclists,” said event organiser Mauritz Meyer. “This event has been an amazing journey and we have worked tirelessly with the Tshwane Metro to try and ensure a controlled riding environment in the city and in Centurion.
“The route control in the city has again improved from last year and we are happy that the route tweaks enabled this,” he said.
In addition to the popular road race, which runs through Centurion, past Hartbeespoort Dam and back on the N4 before heading into the streets of Pretoria, the Hectic Promotions non-profit company also offering a packed entertainment program for the whole family at the Voortrekker Monument and thousands of residents attended the festivities.
There were kids’ races, a fun run, a kermesse as well as guided tours of the Monument and a Recycling Expo.
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