Eden Cycling hosted the Western Cape Road and Time Trial Championships on 5-6 January 2019 at the Tante Maria Padstal near De Rust with about 200 riders from Eden, Cape Winelands and Cape Metropole competing in their respective age categories to be crowned as Western Cape Champions. The road race on Saturday as well as the individual Time Trial on Sunday produced excellent results, in preparation for the South African Road and Time Trial Championships to be held in Gauteng from 7-10 February 2019.
The riders enjoyed the route that has not been used for a road race in recent times. The venue for the race was at the Tante Maria Padstal near the Stompdrift dam with all the routes in the direction of Uniondale and back. As part of the farm Doornkraal, Tante Maria Padstal with its modest old world character and rich history was the perfect venue for the event, making the riders feel at home – away from the busy city life. Most of the riders stayed in and around the town of De Rust, experiencing the unique Klein Karoo hospitality of the farming community.
Gregory de Vink, rider for Team Mad Mac p/b häzz from Somerset West started the cycling season on a high note when he won the 147km Western Cape Road race in a sprint finish, earning the U23 Western Cape Champ jersey and finishing second in the Time Trial.
Five kilometre into the race Louis Visser and Chris Cronjé broke away in a 2-man break which stayed away for the first 50km. This move put some pressure on the main bunch causing several attacks and ultimately a select group making the bridge to the two riders out in front, consisting of Byron Munton, Gregory de Vink, Gustav Basson, Craig Boyes, Ivan Venter, Devin Shortt and Rainhardt Marais.
Soon after the bridge was made an attack of Byron Munton saw the break split once again with only Gregory, Byron, Chris, Gustav, Ivan and Louis remaining out in front. These 6 riders worked well together with small attacks but to no avail. The decisive split only happened with 1km to go up the last climb, when Byron and Chris attacked too soon, but was surpassed by Ivan, Gregory and Louis who kept a 10 second gap and ultimately with a sprint finish determined the top 3 positions. Gregory came first, Louis second and Ivan third, soon followed by Chris and Byron with Gustav following. The earlier dropped riders from the break crossed the finish line some 4 minutes after the victors consisting of Craig Boyes, Rainhardt and Devin Shortt.
Gregory won the U23 title, with Louis Visser in second and Byron Munton in third. The elite men’s title was won by Ivan Venter, followed by Chris Cronje in second and Craig Boyes in third.
Gregory lost out to Byron Munton by just over a minute in the 38km time trial with Louis Visser rounding off the U23 podium in third. In he elite men’s time trial Chris Cronje took the victory with Ivan Venter in second place.
In the women’s road race it was a battle between Liezel Jordaan and Catherine Colyn who came first and second respectively. Liezel also won the women’s time trial.
In the Veteran Men 30-34 Theuns van der Bank successfully defended his Time Trial title, while South African Champ Fred van Zyl, riding in the Veteran Men 70+ category took the title in both disciplines.
The next challenge for the Western Cape road cyclists will be the Stellenbosch Cycle Tour on 20 January 2019 before heading to Gauteng for the South African Road and TT Championship in February 2019.