1 November 2011
Edward Greene stole the limelight with a comprehensive victory in the 126-kilometre road race of the Msunduzi Road Challenge on Sunday after a decisive break in the closing stages of the race.
The team RSAWeb rider was part of an 11- rider breakaway that split the front peleton shortly after the halfway point at Dalton. Then, he made his move as the contenders reached the outer city limits, and reached the finish at Alexandra Park alone after a gutsy solo break.
“I had good race, but it was hot out there!” said Greene.
‘A consistent pace throughout’
“I had to keep a consistent pace throughout. At 60 kilometres, I picked up the pace and had to go hard. Fifteen of us broke away from the group and I put in an attack at the 105-kilometre mark and got through.”
“I found the race quite relaxed, but kept my pace consistent as I had recced the race and knew what was coming,” added Greene, who lives in Hilton.
Greene’s break splintered the front bunch as riders tried individually to catch him. William Bush finished second with another under-23 rider, Kallen Williams, filling the last spot on the podium, just ahead of elite rider Abraham le Roux.
Another road racing icon Andrew Mclean took his 45-49 year age group title and was fifth overall, confirming his return to form after a two-month injury layoff.
“I found the race route fantastic – no huge climbs, but enough to make it challenging. The road traffic control was excellent,” said McLean, who also won the overall time trial title on Saturday.
The 110 kilometre race was won by Gauteng rider Mark Langman, who competed in the 50-54 age group. The decisive move came when he broke away from a big bunch that diced for the two remaining places on the podium, which eventually went to Uwe Schmidt and Gary Beneke.
“The weather was great, although a little windy at some points, so I had to do some gutter riding,” said Langman.
“The road closure and traffic control was excellent. It was a tough race, with a great route that was very challenging.”
The 90 kilometre race was decided in a sprint to the line, with Maurice Connor, edging out the impressive Norwegian female Sissel Vien, who won both her time trial and the road race in the 50-54 year category.
“I’m exhausted and it was very hot out there,” said Connor.
“When we managed to break free from the bunch we worked well, but had to keep it going throughout the race. I think we all found it quite windy on the uphills, but the route was great. This wins me the SA Champs so I’m very happy.”
‘The perfect team’
“We were the perfect team,” said an enthusiastic Vien afterwards. “He (Connor) pulled all the hills and I worked the straights. The course was very tough and I found it quite challenging from the New Hanover point.”
The event doubled as the National Road Championship title decider in several masters’ age groups following the cancellation of the event in Port Elizabeth that had been awarded the champs.
Lindy Erasmus won the 30-35 age group, beating time trial champ Nanette Burger, who was unusually off-form on the road.
The event served as a dress rehearsal for the UCI World Cycling Tour finals next year that was awarded to the Msunduzi Road Challenge last month.
Race director Alex Lenferna said he was pleased with the outcome of the time trial and the road race, and thanked the people of Pietermaritzburg for their understanding of the road closures.
- Edward Greene 3:22:11 u23
- William Bush 3:22:40 u23
- Kallen Williams 3:23:00 u23
- Abraham Le Roux 3:23:06 Elite
- Andrew McLean 3:23:10 45 – 49
- Mark Langman 3:10:17 50-52
- Uwe Schmidt 3:10:48 50-54
- Gary Beneke 3:10:48 45-49
- Paul Furbank 3:10:48 55-59
- Adriaan Beukes 3:10:49 50-54
- Maurice Connor 2:47:35 65-69
- Sissel Vien 2:47:36 F 50-54
- Francesco Sperotto 2:51:55 65-69
- Pauline Cound 2:58:59 F 50-54
- Alma Bester 3:01:42 F50-54
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