Second stage of Panorama Tour a nailbiter

2013-04-29 09:21

Stage Two of the MTN Panorama Tour ended dramatically in White River, Mpumalanga.

The Ownsurance PFS team of Adolph Krige and Alan Gordon just got their noses ahead of the whole bunch of riders, nicking the race in 2:23:24 yesterday.

Trevor Davies and France Ferreira finished second with defending champion Shaun Ward, who is paired with Barend Burger, breathing down their necks in third position.

Nothing better explains how intensely this stage was contested than the fact that there was just a minute between the winners and runners up. The same time also separated second and third.

Petri Strydom and Christiaan Mostert of Ownsurance were recorded moving at 115km per hour on the rolling section towards Karino, in this 85km stage that saw riders start in White River, ride past Brondal, N4, and the Kruger National Airport before finishing where they started.

Juanita Venter and Andrea Steyn maintained their lead for the second day in the women’s competition, finishing at 2:31:34.

Today’s race will take riders around Sabie, Long Tom and Brondal in the 114km Stage Three.

The organisers, who had complained about littering at the end of the first stage on Saturday, praised the cyclists for heeding their call as there was no littering throughout the day.

Defending champion Ward praised the organisation this year but suggested that they should look at changing the dates of the race to attract more cyclists.

“There are fewer riders here than last year and I think it’s because there are three major cycling events taking place in Durban, Johannesburg and Parys (Free State) this weekend,” said Ward.

Ward said he hoped to retain his title by winning Stage Three and making up in the Time Trial tomorrow.

“I have a partner who really wants to win and we are capable of doing it. In my first two races, I just rode with friends and we were doing it for fun and the beautiful view but last year and this year, I really had and have a serious partner,” he said.

- City Press

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