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Brown back with a bang

Arran Brown, the leading sprinter in South African road cycling in 2009, showed on Sunday that he’s back to peak form after an injury-enforced lay-off when he won the MTN Amashova 106-kilometre Classic between Pietermaritzburg and Durban.

Brown led a Team Medscheme one-two for the second year in succession when he and teammate Malcolm Lange produced a carbon copy of their 2009 finish by claiming the first two places respectively in a time of 2hr 24min 08sec.

The third largest road cycling event in the country had a decidedly less aggressive feel to it on Sunday, with the few attacks that were made all being reeled in, mostly by the MTN Energade and House of Paint teams, both confident of success in a bunch sprint.

ÔÇ£We (Team Medscheme) were keen to break the race up just after halfway, but it seemed the other big teams were more interested in keeping it together,ÔÇØ explained Brown.

With 2km remaining, the experience of Team Medscheme was evident as all eight of it’s blue-and-white clad riders were on the front, controlling the pace and setting up an ideal springboard for sprint aces, Brown and Lange, who finished off the proceedings with a perfect result. Tyler Day of Team EMG claimed the final podium place.

ÔÇ£There was a headwind in the finishing straight and the other teams sent their sprinters off a bit soon. We were patient, waited until late and then got the gallop going,ÔÇØ explained an elated Brown.

ÔÇ£I’m really happy to have won a big race in South Africa again. It’s been almost a year since I last won a major title on home soil and it feels good to be back to full strength,ÔÇØ said Brown, who underwent surgery to repair a tendon in his leg in February this year.

In 2009 Brown became the first rider to win the country’s three most popular races in the same year ÔÇô the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour, MTN Amashova and Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge. In August 2010 he won the Tour de Delhi in India, his first victory since sustaining his debilitating injury last December.