The Le Coq Sportif Tour de Boland (8 – 11 March) is certainly a race for the climbers, during three days of racing the riders will be expected to conquer Bainskloof Pass twice, Du Toitskloof Pass twice and the Franschoek Pass once.
The inaugural Columbia Grape Escape took place this weekend with a star studded field racing their way from Big Bay to Boschendal over three days. Four times Cape Epic winner Karl Platt was the man with early form winning the first two stages in sprint finishes but it was Kevin Evans and David George’s domination on the third stage that allowed David to win the stage and Kevin the overall title for Team 360Life.
Race organisers have shown their support for professional cycling in South Africa by announcing a lucrative prize purse for the nine-day Fairbairn Capital/Old Mutual joBerg2c mountain bike race.
In line with an event like the Absa Cape Epic, the first two-man team to cross the finish line in Scottburgh on May 7 will pocket R100 000. The total prize pot for the men’s, women’s and mixed racing teams is R300 000.
Cadel Evans has admitted he has taken a laid-back approach to the 2011 cycling season, although it is all part of his bigger plans to get back in contention for victory at the Tour de France.
Evans finished runner-up in the three week epic in 2007 and 2008, but has failed to challenge for the race’s coveted yellow jersey in the past two years.
Stories of hard, tough men choking on their waterbottles filter down from the weskus after last week-end. The Renosterveld events team got delivered a scorcher of a feb week-end with rumoured temperatures in Darling hitting 45 degrees in the shade on the Sunday (I think there’s a little bit of spice in that fishy story, but the sentiment is correct).
Karl Platt (Team Bulls) proved on Saturday by winning the MTN Sabie ultra-marathon that patience is a virtue.
Despite the South African and Namibian riders trying their utmost to put him under pressure the German rider refused to be intimidated. He just kept on riding at his own pace biding his time for the right moment to dish out his own punishment.