Nic White has signed off on his professional cycling career with a breakaway win in the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge in Johannesburg.
White, who won the inaugural event in 1997, clocked 2:15.06 to win by 39 seconds from teammate Arran Brown, leading Team Medscheme to a cleansweep of the podium places.
“This was simply unbelievable,” White said after the race.
“I usually ride for the others in the team, but today at three kilometres to go I relaxed and went for it. It is a great way to end my pro career.”
Cherise Taylor of USN won a sprint finish to clinch the women’s title in 2:45.09 from Robyn de Groot and Marissa van der Merwe of the MTN Energade team.
With 34 victories already under its belt in 2010, Team Medscheme was looking for victory number 35, and instigated a break of 15 riders after 28km in the men‘s race.
Hitting speeds of 80 kilometres an hour on the downhill past Johannesburg Zoo on Jan Smuts Avenue, the lead group quickly opened a gap of over a minute on the chasing peloton.
The pack was gradually whittled down, with three riders dropping off due to the frenetic pace, and White attacked with 15km to go.
EMG’s Dennis Van Niekerk, who finished fifth, tried to respond, but with one rider away, Team Medscheme sat up and let the rest of group chase White.
First of the chasers to fall away was Travis Allen. Dylan Girdlestone (MTN) then tried to bridge the gap between the group and White, but once again there was no support.
With seven kilometres to go, White had extended his lead to a minute and held on to the finish line to cap an 11-year career with a fairytale ending.
Malcolm Lange took third behind Brown in a sprint for the remaining podium places.
Taylor was part of a breakaway group of seven riders with 20km to go in the women’s race, and came out tops in the sprint to the line, finishing a year of ups and downs on a high note.
The results of the Momentum 94.7 cycle challenge held in Johannesburg on Sunday:
Nic White 2:15:06 Team Medscheme
Arran Brown 2:15:45 Team Medscheme
Malcolm Lange 2:15:45 Team Medscheme
David Maree 2:15:45 House of Paints
Denis van Niekerk 2:15:45 EMG
Johann Rabie 2:15:45 Team Medscheme
Hanco Kachelhoffer 2:15:45 Team Medscheme
Waylon Woolcock 2:15:45 Team Medscheme
Neil Macdonald 2:15:45 Team Medscheme
Dylan Girdlestone 2:15:45 MTN Energade
Cherise Taylor 2:45:09 USN
Robyn de Groot 2:45:09 MTN Energade
Marissa van der Merwe 2:45:09 MTN Energade
Linn Torp 2:45:09 bizhub
Lise Olivier 2:45:09 bizhub
Anritte Schoeman 2:45:20 Biogen Toyota
Jo Van De Winkel 2:48:03 Biogen Toyota
An-Li Pretorius 2:48:03 MTN Energade
Charlotte van der Merwe 2:48:03 bizhub
Karien Van Jaarsveld 2:48:03 USN