Team MTN-Qhubeka’s Reinardt Janse van Rensburg proved too strong for the field at the Bestmed Jacaranda Satellite Classic, to win solo and cross the line almost four minutes ahead of second-placed finisher Christoff van Heerden (Team Bonitas).
In the women’s race, Lise OIivier (MTN-Qhubeka) finished second behind Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Momentum-Toyota).
It was a great display of teamwork from the men in yellow as Janse van Rensburg and JC Nel made the initial breakaway shortly after racing got underway. They formed a four-man group along with Team Bonitas duo Herman Fouche and new signing Van Heerden.
After 30 kilometres of racing, the four men were joined by Dennis van Niekerk (MTN-Qhubeka) and Stefan Ihlenfeldt (Bonitas) and despite a chase from the peloton led by Europcar, the move proved to be the successful break of the day.
The gap grew to a maximum of 4min 30sec between the break and the peloton with a few unsuccessful chasers caught in the middle.
Five hundred metres into the start of the tough Hekpoort climb, Janse van Rensburg put in an attack that the others couldn’t follow. The South African national time trial champion won the King of the Mountain prize, quickly increased his lead and was not to be seen again.
ÔÇ£Having three riders up the road was an ideal situation for us. We were pretty confident when the gap started growing between the break and the peloton,ÔÇØ said team manager Kevin Campbell.
ÔÇ£We started Hekpoort with a gap of about three minutes. Reinardt put his attack in and Dennis tried to get across to him but the Bonitas guys closed him down. The gap to Reinardt started growing, first by a minute, and then two minutes and he just kept going. It was an impressive ride.ÔÇØ
The remainder of the break sprinted for second place with van Heerden finishing ahead of van Niekerk. It was also an impressive return to racing for Nel who was hit by a car in March and has had a long road to recovery. He eventually finished in fifth place for Team MTN-Qhubeka.
In the women’s race OIivier attacked up Hekpoort to win the Queen of the mountain prize before putting in another attack coming into the finish.
But the Momentum-Toyota team nullified the move with South African National champion Moolman-Pasio too strong and taking the sprint to win.
Olivier said, ÔÇ£We always race to win and although I finished second, we are happy with today. An-Li [Pretorius] and myself were aggressive throughout the race and managed to get away a few times. This is a good sign for the upcoming races.ÔÇØ
Bestmed Jacaranda Satellite Classic Elite Men Results:
1. Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (MTN-Qhubeka)
2. Christoff van Heerden (Team Bonitas)
3. Dennis van Niekerk (MTN-Qhubeka)
4. Stefan Ihlenfeldt (Team Bonitas)
5. JC Nel (MTN-Qhubeka)
Elite Women Results:
1. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Momentum-Toyota)
2. Lise Olivier (MTN-Qhubeka)
3. Joanna van de Winkel (Momentum-Toyota)
4. Robyn de Groot (Momentum-Toyota)
5. An-Li Pretorius (MTN-Qhubeka)