Mecer-NMMU’s Conrad Viljoen got the best of inclement weather and a three-man breakaway to win the second leg of the Beachfront Lodges Premier Cycling League in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
Viljoen completed the undulating 66-kilometre circuit, which finished on top of a tough climb, in one hour 49 minutes and eight seconds.
Former Port Elizabethan and reigning South African under 23 champion, Clinton Barrow (Walmer Cycling Club), and Jade Muller (Mecer-NMMU) were second and third respectively in the same time.
Ronnie Scheffer ensured an almost perfect day for the university team when he led the main bunch home in fourth, less than a minute behind.
Viljoen – who turned 25 the previous day – seemed unperturbed by the torrents of rain and gail force winds that lashed the riders and was first to lay down the gauntlet when he attacked on a flat section midway through the first 22-kilometre lap.
Gauteng-based Barrow, who is preparing for the world championships in Russia later this year, was the only one able to respond and they quickly built a lead of one-and-a-half minutes.
Behind, Muller and Toyota-Cycle Lab’s Weslee Todkill used the first ascending of the tough Three Sisters climb (after 20km) to break clear from the main bunch and together they set off in pursuit of the leading duo.
Their chase lasted 20km with Muller eventually bridging the gap on his own as they ascended the main climb for the second time. A tiring Todkill was left behind to be swallowed up by the field.
Antal Meiswinkel (Toyota-Cycle Lab; 5th), Wayne Pheiffer (Walmer Cycling Club; 6th), Francois van Heerden (Toyota-Cycle Lab; 7th), Mark Murray (Mecer-NMMU; 8th), Terry Syphus (Volkswagen Cycling Club) and Regardt Koen (Mecer-NMMU) completed the top 10.
Mecer-NMMU (348 points), Toyota-Cycle Lab (337) and Walmer Cycling Club (264) were the top teams on the day. After two legs, Mecer-NMMU heads the standings ahead of Toyota-Cycle Lab and Friendly City Cycles.
A minute’s silence was held before the start in memory of local cyclist Kim Trzebiatowsky, who was recently killed in a collision with a motor vehicle.
Full Stop Communications
On behalf of: