Wesley Augustyn (Mecer NMMU) beat home some of the province’s more fancied sprinters to consolidate his overall lead in the Jaco Rademeyer Estates Criterium Series, which took place in chilly conditions at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University on Sunday.
Augustyn won the bunch sprint in a time of 1 hr 41 min 00 sec to take a superb, albeit surprising, third place in the third and penultimate leg of the series.
Race honours went to team-mate Conrad Viljoen, who made an aggressive return after fracturing his collarbone at the national championships last month. His winning time was 1 hr 35 min 58 sec, three-and-a-half minutes (1 hr 39 min 27 sec) in front of Divan Rall (House of Paint) of Graaff-Reinet.
Rall was the first to show aggressive intent, breaking clear of the field after two-and-a-half laps of racing. Viljoen joined him a lap-and-a-half later and the duo worked together to establish a lead of one-and-a-half minutes with 10 of the 21 three-kilometre laps remaining.
At this point, Viljoen showed his class with a well-timed attack to leave the spirited 17-year-old behind. Seven laps later Viljoen punched the air in delight when he lapped the main field, which was embroiled in an energy-sapping tactical battle.
“I surprised even myself with my sprint today,” Augustyn said after the race. “I never think of myself as a sprinter, but it is nice to know that I can hold my own against the best of them.”
While he was learning more about his cycling ability, so too was his elder brother John-Lee, who had his first taste of the high Pyrenees in the Tour de France later in the day.
The first hot spot after six laps was won by Rall, with Viljoen second and Phillip Erasmus (Walmer Cycling Club) third. Viljoen took the second hot spot after 16 laps, followed by Rall and Augustyn.
Wesley Todkill’s (Cycle Lab) series ended in tears when he crashed midway through the race. A good placing would have moved him into the top three in the overall standings.
Augustyn leads the overall standings with 176 points, followed by Kevin Dorfling (Cycle Lab) on 154 and veteran sprinter Mario Nell on 131.
The final leg starts at 8am on Sunday at the university.
For more information, contact Garth Botha from Action Cycles on 041 581 6499 or Theresa le Roux from the NMMU Cycling Club on 082 773 9892.
Full Stop Communications
On behalf of:
Jaco Rademeyer Estates (JRE)