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McLean mixes it with the youngsters

South African super-veteran, Andrew McLean, showed he’s still got plenty of racing sparkle when he finished an impressive third overall at the recent 2009 Tour of Mauritius.

The 45-year-old McLean led a Toyota Supercycling veteran team to the event, the only veteran team in the five-day, six-stage race, which attracted riders from South Africa, other African countries, the islands of Seychelles and Mauritius and also Europe.

Top French amateur, Sylvain Georges, won the tour ahead of French-based Maurtian hero, Lincoln Yannick, with McLean completing the final overall podium.

McLean finished third on Stage One and second on Stage Two, which pushed him into second place behind Georges. But on the hilly third stage, Yannick, a three-time winner of the event, finished second behind Georges with McLean claiming third. This pushed the South African down to third on the General Classification, a position he’d hold until the finish.

ÔÇ£My teammates were superb. There were strong winds and some rain making conditions quite challenging. But my teammates were completely committed to keeping me on the final podium and they did a fantastic job,ÔÇØ said McLean, who also finished third on Stage Four.

ÔÇ£From Stage One the pace was high and the racing hard,ÔÇØ explained McLean’s teammate, Bruce Diesel, who was awarded the Most Combative Rider Jersey after Stage Four, following his proactive role in a long breakaway.

ÔÇ£We missed an early break on Stage One so the whole team put in a huge effort to reel it back in, which we did, allowing Andrew to attack and break the race up early on. We were hoping to have at least two riders in high overall contention, but we didn’t do badly considering we’re all over 40 with families and full-time jobs.ÔÇØ

McLean was also awarded the Most Combative Rider Jersey on Stages Two and three, which said a lot for the team’s positive approach to the racing. He also ended third in the Points competition and fourth in the King of the Mountains category.

Other South Africans that finished in the top 10 were fifth-placed Jaco Ferreira (Team Computer Smith), seventh-placed Michael van Staden (Team Giles Quevevilliers), and 10th-placed Gawie Combrink (Team Computer Smith). Van Staden also won the Best Young Rider competition.

Selected final results
2009 Tour of Mauritius
Final General Classification
1 Sylvain Georges (FRA) 12hr35min11sec
2 Lincoln Yannick (MRU) @ 1:43
3 Andrew McLean (RSA) Toyota Supercycling @ 5:16
4 Thomas Desvaux (FRA) @ 6:39
5 Jaco Ferreira (RSA) @ 7:41
6 David Kinjah (KEN) @ 7:51
7 Michael van Staden (RSA) @ 8:41
8 Colin Mayer (FRA) @ 9:06
9 Hugo Caetane (FRA) @ 10:29
10 Gawie Combrink (RSA) @ 13:36
16 Mark Thijs (RSA) Toyota Supercycling @ 19:09
17 Bruce Diesel (RSA) Toyota Supercycling @ 19:14
27 Issy Zimmerman (RSA) Toyota Supercycling @ 27:57
30 Kevin Prinsloo (RSA) Toyota Supercycling @ 32:30