Shaun Ward from Team NuWater clinched victory in a time of 02:10:33 at the 2012 Die Burger Cycle Tour in Stellenbosch today. This follows NuWater’s team victory at the Coronation Double Century held in Swellendam last weekend.
“I am thrilled to have achieved my goals and the perfect conditions made riding a pleasure today. I have just returned from a disappointing tour of Rwanda so I wanted to do my best” he said.
He was closely followed by Paul-Dean Rörich of Focus, who claimed second place, and Chris Jooste Jnr of Team RSAWeb who took third.
British cycling champion, Sharon Laws from Momentum Toyota, won the fiercely contested ladies race with a time of 02:18:58. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, also from Momentum Toyota, and Jennie Stenerhag, from Focus, finished second and third respectively.
“It was a really good day out today! Although we were in a big bunch for much of the race, I find that riding with the men makes for a more aggressive race. I love competing in races in South Africa as there are so many smiling faces and friendly participants” she said.
Bun Booyens, editor of Die Burger, took part in the event to raise funds for Die Burger- Kersfonds. “I had an excellent ride and the route was beautiful. It was very satisfying to know that through my participation, Die Burger Kersfonds was able to benefit.”
Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport Dr Ivan Meyer also took part in the race, completing the 44km route, realizing his dream of participating in the event.
Following the event, he summed his race up in three words, “Fun, great and exciting! The Old Helshoogte pass proved to be quite challenging but I am very happy with my race. The weather gods were smiling down on us today as I was very worried about the wind that has been plaguing Cape Town over the last few days.”
More than 6,000 cyclists lined up at the start of the 2012 Die Burger Cycle Tour at Stellenbosch High School this morning. The vast majority took on the 92km route, which is also the final seeding opportunity for the 2013 Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour.
David Bellairs, Marketing and Sponsorship Director of the Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust, said the event was a great success. “Much to everyone’s relief, the weather played along nicely and cyclists enjoyed a tail wind for the last few kilometers and riders achieved great times.”
Charles Solomon, who claimed third place in last year’s event and was later diagnosed with testicular cancer following a post-race medical test, participated in this year’s event and
completed the 92km route in an impressive 02:10:50.
“I had a fantastic ride today. With it being my first race after my cancer treatment I wasn’t as fit as last year, but it felt great to be back in the saddle again. I am still so thankful for the medical test which alerted me to the cancer. I am still going for blood tests but can now happily say that I am cancer-free.”
The race results are as follows:
Elite Men 1st: Shaun Ward (Team NuWater) (02:10:33)
Elite Men 2nd: Paul-Dean Rörich (Focus) (02:10:33)
Elite Men 3rd: Chris Jooste Jnr (Team RSAWeb) (02:10:33)
Elite Ladies 1st: Sharon Laws (Momentum Toyota) (02:18:58)
Elite Ladies 2nd: Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Momentum Toyota) (02:18:58)
Elite Ladies 3rd: Jennie Stenerhag (Focus) (02:18:58)
44km – Fastest across the line
Men 1st: Lemar Meyer (01:33:45)
Ladies 1st: Leila Kopff (01:23:39)