Defending champions Daryl Impey (Orica GreenEdge) and Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Hitec Products) retained their Elite National Time Trial titles on day three of the 2014 Time Freight SA Road Cycling Championships in Durban on Thursday.
The Elite men started earlier than normal at 7am and Impey delivered a smooth performance to keep the charging Jay Thomson (Team MTN-Qhubeka) and Conrad Stoltz (Specialized Racing) at bay along the 40-kilometre course. Impey’s winning time was 50 minutes 48 seconds with Thomson claiming silver and Stoltz, a four-time Xterra World Champion, a bronze medal.
ÔÇ£I feel less prepared than I was for last years Champs, but sometimes with a more relaxed approach when you go into these races, it all just works out on the day. I felt confident after the Tour Down Under, and I rode very strong there. It all went well for me today.ÔÇØ
Elite women’s race favourite Moolman-Pasio charged to victory in a time of 42min 39sec for the 30km race distance. She was followed by Heidi Dalton, a newcomer to the Elite category with Leandri du Toit claiming the bronze medal.
ÔÇ£I prefer the technical courses, the lap structure was nice and I really enjoyed it,ÔÇØ said Moolman-Pasio. ÔÇ£The wind was strong but that also worked in my favour to a certain extent. It is great to start the year off with an SA title.
Moolman-Pasio, in action on the right, is optimistic ahead of Sunday’s road race in Westville: ÔÇ£I will give it my best, and what will be, will be. I haven’t seen the route yet, but I hear it is quite tough, so all I can do is give of my best and hope that it works out in my favour.ÔÇØ
The Under-23 men’s category saw Louis Meintjes (Team MTN-Qhubeka) successfully retain his title and national jersey. Racing along the same 40km course as the Elite Men, Meintjes clocked the fastest time of 51min 36sec. Silver went to Nicholas Dougall, with bronze going to Rohan du Plooy.
The Junior Men’s race presented a large field of competitors, all eager for the title. It was Gustav Basson who claimed the national title in this hotly contested class along the 30km course, in a time of 40:19, just one second ahead of silver medalist Ivan Venter. Bronze went to Stefan de Bod, who finished a further 26sec back.
It was the Junior Women that wrapped up the day’s racing over a distance of 21km with Michelle Benson taking gold in a time of 32:27. Monique Gerber claimed silver, only seven seconds behind, with Bianca Haw claiming bronze.
Race organiser Kelvin du Sart has been pleased with the positive race feedback from the Time Trial along the Durban beachfront, but he now focuses on the road race route in Westville for the remainder of the event.
Pictures: Mylene Paynter