Hendrick Mphande email@example.com
BEAUTIFUL weather, huge crowd support and a sprint to the finish in the women’s race were some of the highlights as more than 3000 passionate cyclists took to the road in the 27th annual The Herald Volkswagen Cycle Tour yesterday.
The gruelling 105km spectacular was won by James Perry, of Tasol-GT, who finished in the impressive time of 2:27:04.
Top honours in the women’s race went to Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, of MomentumToyota, in 3:04:31.
Perry made good use of his eight-man squad’s numbers to launch an onslaught in the final 10km.
“We got the whole team to the front and I was feeling really strong so I decided to attack off the front.
“With them all there, no one else was strong enough to come over and close us down before the finish,” Perry said.
The women’s race came down to a sprint between four riders, with Moolman-Pasio taking victory ahead of national road champion Marissa Stander, of bizhub-FCF.
Twelve-time champion Anriëtte Schoeman, of bizhub-FCF, completed the podium, while MoolmanPasio’s team-mate, defending champion Robyn de Groot, came in fourth.
“Marissa and I got an early break, then Robyn and Anriëtte caught us,” MoolmanPasio said.
“Marissa and I were stronger, especially on the climbs. We just had that little advantage, so we were both confident coming into the sprint. We knew one of us would take it.”
The weather played along to perfection, with the 24.4°C temperature ensuring cyclists completed the race comfortably. Organiser Linda Harwood, of Harwood Promotions, applauded the cyclists and the crowd. “It was a beautiful day – perfect for an event such as this.”
Rounding off the day, lucky draw winner Malan Smith, of Kirkwood, walked away with a new Polo Vivo.
An ecstatic Smith, 26, who took part in the 105km race, said the win could not have come at a better time.
He said his bakkie had developed mechanical problems and he had had to use his wife’s car to travel to Port Elizabeth.
The weekend’s The Herald Volkswagen Cycle Tour comprised a 105km race, a 75km ride, mountain bike races, a family fun ride, and a kiddies’ race.