Surprise winner of the opening leg of the Jaco Rademeyer Estates Criterium Series, Andrew Crossman (Mecer NMMU), will be hoping to control proceedings in the second leg that will take place at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University on Sunday.
“It is nice to go into the rest of the series with an advantage,” Crossman said on Wednesday after completing a 130-kilometre training ride. “It gives the team the freedom to wait and see how the race develops.
Crossman led home a one-two finish for Mecer NMMU after escaping 12 laps into the 21-lap opening leg. Although he won the race, teammate Wesley Augustyn (19), who finished second, currently heads the standings on 59 points after scoring well in the two hot spots.
Crossman is second with 58 points, followed by Ironman Raynard Tissink (34; Friendly City Cycling Club), who won the first hot spot, on 54.
“With two Mecer NMMU riders leading the standings, the onus will be on the other teams to try and wrest control from us. However, I won’t be sitting back at all,” said the 20-year-old, who is using the series to prepare for the South African Student Championships at the end of the month.
“My aim will of course be to get into the winning move. There is no better way to control the race than from the front.”
Although he knew he was in good shape, Crossman said he did not expect to win on Sunday. “I took my chances and it worked out well. It certainly wasn’t easy; I had to work extremely hard for it.
“I haven’t shown form for so long, so I’m very pleased,” he said, referring to a lengthy layoff due to a troublesome knee. “This victory has been a great confidence booster.”
Apart from Tissink, Crossman is expecting an all-out attack from criterium specialists and former Boks André Burger (Coimbra PE Club), who was fourth in the first leg, Mario Nell (Friendly City), whose challenge fizzled after dropping his chain towards the end of the first race, and Wayne Pheiffer (Wayne Pheiffer Cycles), who missed the series opener.
“They are all world-class sprinters. I will certainly be on the back foot if the bunch stays together.”
The second leg starts at 8am on Sunday over a distance of 60 kilometres plus one lap.
Full Stop Communications
On behalf of:
Jaco Rademeyer Estates (JRE)