Rossouw blows ’em away

2012-04-23 00:00

RACING at the front end of yesterday’s Karkloof Classic was fierce as many of the country’s elite marathon mountain bikers looked to get their hands on the race’s coveted title.

But not even the best efforts of youngster James Reid and the vastly experienced Brandon Stewart could contain Jacques Rossouw in the end sprint to the line.

Rossouw, who has been putting in huge miles ahead of the upcoming Joburg2C, set off from the back of A batch with the intention of trying to hang on as long as he could before falling away.

However, as the race went on he got stronger and stronger and soon found himself at the front end of the bunch with just a few kilometres to go and in a prime position to battle it out for the title with Reid and Stewart.

It came down to an end sprint across the Karkloof polo fields to split the trio and with grass making life a lot tougher than the three would have hoped, it was Roussow who hit the front first and managed to cling on over final few metres.

“I wasn’t expecting to finish anywhere near the top three, so I definitely surprised myself quite a bit,” said Rossouw. “I took a week off after the Epic and then had a really hard training block last week so the legs were sore coming into today. So to have won really is great.”

Although slightly disappointed, Reid was satisfied with his effort overall after a tough day.

“I was having one of my worst days, so early on I decided to sit back a bit, consolidate on the hills and then work hard on the descents. I know the track backwards and I know the single track really well so I really tried to push hard through there,” he said.

After leading for the bulk of the race Stewart had to settle for the final step on the podium.

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