It was a golden day on Saturday for Team MTN-Qhubeka’s Jacques Janse van Rensburg who dominated the 2015 Pennypinchers South African Road, Time Trial and Para-cycling Championships Elite Men’s road race to finish just under two minutes ahead of the chasing bunch in hot conditions in Mbombela.
For Daryl Impey it was a case of being the perennial runner-up and although the recent SA Time Trial Champion was a little disappointed by the tactics taken by the peloton he was still satisfied with his second place finish as he looks towards the international season.
It was a first Elite national championship title for Janse van Rensburg but with a debut in the Tour de France later in the year for Team MTN-Qhubeka he knew the importance of keeping the national jersey amongst them.
‘It is such a great feeling to win the elite title!’ an elated Janse van Rensburg said. ‘After Louis (Meintjes) won it last year and with our Tour de France entry we really wanted to keep it amongst the team and I am glad that we managed to do that.’
Having claimed both the junior and the Under-23 national titles Janse van Rensburg was glad to add the elite title to his cabinet and felt like he rode a technically and tactically sound race that unfolded like he would have wanted it to.
‘Our tactic was to get a guy in the early break and that was me which meant that I was able to keep with the group of six at the front.
‘By the sixth lap I knew that we were going to be able to keep clear of the group and with two laps to go I really felt good and I knew that I had to get away because I am not the strongest sprinter so I needed a gap.
‘I went on my own from there and there wasn’t much of a chase so I was able to just get clear and keep my head down all the way to the finish which was great and I am really happy with the result,’ he beamed.
Runner-up Impey said: ‘It was good to get the silver medal today even though I was a little frustrated by the tactics of some of the bigger teams that were part of the bunch.
‘There was very little movement in the group and I was hoping that there might be a couple guys who were willing to come with me and no one wanted to put in a chase which was quite disappointing but it was a great ride from Jacques and he deserved it today.’
The Orica-GreenEDGE rider had been in this situation in the past and he worked hard in the past to get himself into a position to win but this year he feels that a number of the younger riders might learn from what happened on the course.
‘A lot of the guys in the group were waiting for me to do some work on the front but I wasn’t willing to put in the all the hard work at the front this year if I wasn’t going to get any support from a section of the group.
‘It gets to a stage when you can’t expect one guy to do all of the work on the front of the group and I think that some guys learnt that you need to have a group working together to pull the leader in so I think that after the effort I put in again today I will walk away with some respect,’ a slightly aggrieved Impey mentioned.
The Under-23 men also took to the road in their Road Race on Saturday and it was Jayde Julius who managed to hold off Stefan de Bod and a number of other riders to claim the national crown. The Junior men also took part in their Road Race with Jarrod Hattingh winning the end sprint and with that the junior national title.
Wartburg’s Frankie du Toit was the strongest of the junior girls as she did the double to go along with her Time Trial victory earlier in the week.
Picture of the elite men’s field was taken by Craig Dutton
Road Race results
1. Jacques Janse van Rensburg 04:26.36
2. Darly impey 04:28.40
3. Reinardt Janse van Rensburg 04:28.41
4. Hendrik Kruger 04:28.43
5. Willie Smit 04:28.45
6. Clint Hendricks 04:28.46
7. Louis Meintjies 04:28.47
8. Shaun-Nick Bester 04:28.48
9. Abraham Le Roux 04:28.58
10. Nico Bell 04:29.04
1. Jayde Julius 04:28.41
2. Stefan de Bod 04:28.43
3. Oliver Stapleton-Cotton 04:28.54
4. Thulasizwe Mxenge 04:28.55
5. Ryan Gibbons 04:28.55
1. Jarrod Hattingh 03:30.22
2. Damean Oosthuizen 03:30.22
3. Marco Joubert 03:30.23
4. Kyle de Wet 03:30.23
5. Ruderick Heuer 03:30.23
1. Frances du Toit 02:14.18
2. Lynette Benson 02:18.49
3. Ame Venter 02:18.50
4. Mandie Swart 02:20.53
5. Janet Geldenhuys 02:24.53