Local track star Mario Nell (Atlas Friendly City Cycles) and Gauteng-based partner Dennis van Niekerk (Konica Minolta) continued where they had left off earlier in the week to obliterate a classy field in the madison at the PE Grand Prix track cycling meeting on Saturday.
Nell – who represented South Africa at the world veteran championships in Sydney in November – and Van Niekerk lapped the field in this showpiece event that was contested over 40 laps. Abdul Davids and Jason Penpz from the Bellville Cycling Club and Neal Corbett and Keegan Ziady from Asics completed the podium.
The track meeting was one of Cycling South Africa’s World Cup selection races and the champions are now awaiting word whether they will be allowed to team up for the country in the madison in Copenhagen in mid-February.
Reniel Matthysen (Bellville) was the other star of the show with victories in the 30-lap points and devil races. In the points event, he got the better of Corbett and Van Niekerk and in the devil he edged out Van Niekerk and team-mate Evano Seebrits.
Seebrits bounced back to win an exciting keirin race, followed by former Bok Wayne Pheiffer, Matthysen and lead-out man Nell. In the match sprint, Jean Smith (Bellville) proved to have the most firepower, beating up and coming local sprinter Brent Pheiffer (Walmer Club) and Wesley Bradshaw (Bellville).
Earlier in the week Nell and Van Niekerk dominated the Wayne Pheiffer Cycles Walmer Criterium Series that took place over four legs at the university.
Van Niekerk won the first and fourth legs and Nell the third to place first and second overall respectively. Clinton Burrow (PE Club), who won the second leg, could not manage a podium place in the overall standings.
An in-form André Burger (PE Club), who placed runner-up in the last leg on Thursday, completed the podium with road star Conrad Viljoen (Mecer-NMMU) fourth overall.
On Sunday, and back on his favourite terrain, Viljoen showed that he was in superb condition in the lead-up to the defence of his Bruintjieshoogte title in Somerset-East when he won the Volkswagen Cycle Tour over 85km in the Uitenhage area. Burrow finished second and Gerrit Nel (Walmer Club), from Graaff-Reinet, third.
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