Exciting racing at belgotex classic

2008-04-26 00:00

Last Sunday’s Belgotex Cycle Classic showed that not only do you have to be a great cyclist to win this prestigious event, but team work is just as important. Local pro cycling team House of Paints had a tough start when taking on Team Neotel when a crash within the first five kilometres put three of the House of Paint’s eight riders down in two separate incidents.

With only two professional teams on the starting line for the Pietermaritzburg-based 100 km race, it was clear that team strategy would play a big part in the outcome of the race winner and the attacks came thick and fast as the two teams put each other to the test. Within the first three kilometres of the start, Matt Funnel and Richard Baxter (HOP), Jeremy Maartens and James Perry (Neotel) and Travis Wilkins (Toyota Supercycling) all managed to break away from the front pelaton.

House of Paint team captain Dean Edwards sent his men on to the front to try to reel in Rabie before the final dash down Fox Hill to the finish line, but the strong young Neotel rider put in an amazing solo effort to hold off the chasers and take the line honours a minute ahead of teammates Hoffman and Venter, who were second and third. Unfortunately, House of Paint captain Dean Edwards was left with no lead-out train and settled for a respectable fourth.

Meanwhile, the Cumberland MTB Classic proved its popularity in attracting over 600 riders to the start line despite the looming cold front and the Belgotex Classic on the same day.

Andrew Warr led home a strong field in the men’s race taking the win by a mere 15-second margin from Craig Paul with David Leiman filling third less than a minute back. Julia Colvin showed good form to take the win in the women’s race from Landy Puddu and Sandy Bosman. Over 260 participated in the 25-km Intermediate race.

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