Barring crashes or other misfortunes, Wesley Augustyn’s (Mecer-NMMU) name seems destined for the sizeable cheque of overall winner of the Jaco Rademeyer Criterium Series.
Going into the fourth and final leg at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University on Sunday, he leads the standings with 175 points, ahead of Kevin Dorfling (Toyota-Cycle Lab) on 154, Phillip Erasmus (Walmer Cycling Club) on 138, Mario Nell (Friendly City Cycling Club) on 131 and Jeanne Nell (Friendly City) on 123.
Augustyn will be wise to the fact that the tight and twisty three-kilometre circuit – which they will have to negotiate 21 times – will pose as much of an obstacle as his opposition. The series has dished up its fair share of crashes, with series contender Wesley Todkill (Toyota-Cycle Lab) the latest casualty.
The 19-year-old Augustyn snatched the overall lead after scoring well in the hot spots and placing second in the series opener. He tightened his grip on the series when he won the second leg, following that up with a fine third in the penultimate leg when he won the bunch sprint.
“I don’t want to talk too soon, but I think I have it in the bag now,” Augustyn said after crossing the line on Sunday. “It has been a tough series, especially when you are the marked man.”
With him being in fine form and supported by a strong team, his closest challenger, Dorfling (31), is more likely to be looking over his shoulder at riders like Erasmus and Nell in a bid to secure his second place overall than to fight for the lead.
“I don’t think there is much chance of overhauling him (Augustyn),” Dorfling said this week. “I will be going into Sunday’s race with a defensive frame of mind and my team will be looking after me.”
With the peloton focusing their attentions on the riders who are well-placed overall, the chances are excellent for a small breakaway group to succeed, as was the case this past week when Conrad Viljoen (Mecer-NMMU) took advantage of a tactical battle that did not involve him, after missing the first two legs through injury.
In a well thought out move, Augustyn sent Viljoen (23) down the road to claim the hot spot points on offer, giving his opponents less chance to make up ground on him.
A rider like Nell (36), who is fourth overall, will be on the lookout for any similar opportunist moves that he could take advantage of in a bid to try and secure a podium placing overall.
Sunday’s race starts at 8am.
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)