Brown and Stenerhag continue their winning ways

2009-10-20 00:00

THERE was a dramatic and near-tragic ending to the MTN Amashovashova National Cycle Classic in Durban on Sunday when the motorcycle with the TV cameraman on board rode over the timing pads on the finish line, which were not taped down, causing one of the pads to flip up and into the path of the leading riders.

The first seven riders managed to either evade the mat or ride over it, but at least four others among the top dozen finishers were sent flying when their front wheels ploughed into the pad and they lost control of their bikes.

Team House of Paint sprinter and SA road champion Jamie Ball was stabilised by medics and taken to St Augustine’s Hospital with suspected back and neck injuries; African Road Champion Dan Craven of Namibia broke a collar-bone; Shaun Ward (Konica Minolta) broke an elbow; and Dennis van Niekerk (Konica Minolta) had his bike smashed.

Ball was discharged from hospital after extensive scans and X-rays showed no fractures, but he is in quite a lot of pain and struggling to walk, according to House of Paint team captain Dean Edwards.

Despite threatening rain and wet roads, the weather took a turn for the better during the 106 km race between Pietermaritzburg and Durban, but with no significant breakaways occurring, the race came down to the inevitable bunch sprint.

This ended in triumph for the well organised Team Medscheme as their sprinters, Arran Brown and Malcolm Lange, filled the first two places with Christoff van Heerden (MTN) coming third, all with the same time of two hours 19 minutes 53 seconds.

Sweden’s national women’s road champion, Jennie Stenerhag (Alpha Pharm), riding solo, came out of the race with a lot of credit as she outstripped her challengers, MTN’s Lynette Burger and Marissa van der Merwe, to win the Elite Women’s race in 2:44:53.

Lange, last year’s winner in MTN colours, and Brown, then with House of Paint and who was second, were elated with their victory.

Together at Medscheme they have had an excellent year of road racing with Lange, now 36, recently posting his 400th race victory in a career spanning 18 years and with six Amashovashova titles to his name.

Both Brown and Stenerhag had reason to celebrate as earlier this year they were the men’s and women’s Elite Category winners of the prestigious Argus Cyle Tour.

Brown (24) from Johannesburg is only in his third year as a professional, and with the Amashovashova gold medal in his back pocket, he says he is aiming for a hat-trick in the Pick n Pay 94,7 Cycle Challenge in Johannesurg on November 15.

Brown said: “Our plan was to leave our challenge to very late in the race before making our move so that our riders could take control of the sprint.

“All six of us were lined up for the sprint, which we initiated about two kilometres from the finish, and Hanko Kacheloffer was the last of the lead-out riders that sent Malcolm and myself clear of the bunch of around 20 riders in the sprint.

“Somehow we did not get caught up in that loose timing pad and achieved our objective.”

Brown said he snapped his chain at Hillcrest and had to use the team’s reserve bike to get back in the race in time for the final thrust.

Women’s Elite winner Stenerhag had a similar mishap when she had a puncture 30 km into the race and had to work extra hard to catch up on the leaders.

“It was a very difficult race for me today,” she said, “as I am the only one in my team, while the other three pro teams have at least three riders each.

“So I had to chase down every break as they tried to wear me out and even when I had a puncture they didn’t wait about for me.”

The 34-year-old veteran, who spends six months of the year in her homeland, Sweden, and the rest of the year in Stellenbosch, returned from racing in Europe only three weeks ago and has registered three victories on the trot.

Results

Men

Open: 1. Aaron Brown, 2. Malcolm Lange, 3. Christoff van Heerden, 4. Nolan Hoffman, 5. Dean Edwards, 6. Luthando Kahka, 7. Dusty Day, 8. Jamie Ball, 9. Burry Stander, 10. Dennis van Niekerk

U16: 1. Devlin White, 2. Luke Roberts

Junior: 1. Shaun Nick Bester, 2. Hendrik Kruger

Elite and U23: 1. Aaron Brown, 2. Malcolm Lange, 3. Christoff van Heerden

30 to 34: 1. Jaco Ferreira

Vets 35 to 39 years: 1. Andreas Studer

40 to 44 years: 1. Andrew Mclean

45 to 49 years: 1. Ken Hill

Vets 50: 1. Joe Visser

Vets 60: 1. Derek Tivers

King of the Mountain: 1. Hanco Kachelhoffer

Women

Open: 1. Jennie Stenerhag, 2.Lynette Burger, 3. Marissa van der Merwe, 4. Ashleigh Moolman, 5. Cherise Taylor, 6. Robyn de Groot, 7. Anriette Schoeman, 8. Jayde Roberts, 9. Johanna van der Winkel, 10. Casandra Slingerland

Queen of the mountain: 1. Marissa van der Merwe

Tandom — mixed: 1. Karen Southgate and Gary Young, 2. Dylan Joseph and Carmen Joseph, 3. Scott Gibson and Carolyn Arnold

Tandom — overall: 1. James Dent and Glen Cambell, 2. Alistair Scott and Damian Murphy, 3. Jeremy Macalare and Martin Raubenheimer.

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