The scene is perfectly set for a showdown of the fast men in the sixth leg of the Beachfront Lodges Premier Cycling League over 82km in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

“We have not yet had a bunch sprint for the win this season and this circuit is tailor-made for it,” Conrad Viljoen, team leader of Mecer-NMMU, said on Thursday. “The four top teams all have cards to play, so I expect a tactical race.”

Viljoen named sprint specialists Wayne Pheiffer (Walmer Club), Mario Nell (Friendly City Cycles) and team-mate Ronnie Scheffer as the most likely candidates to take out the stage should the bunch stay together for the full five laps.

“Last time we raced here, Wayne (Pheiffer) won the sprint for third easily. He must therefore start as the early favourite.”

On that occasion, Scheffer followed Pheiffer home in a distant fourth. However, the former has won every single bunch sprint since then – albeit for the minor placings.

Viljoen pointed out that Nell had shown good form in last weekend’s team time-trial –where he was one of the lynchpins in their superb come-from-behind victory – and that he expected him to be in the mix.

They will however be well-advised to keep an eye on Toyota-Cycle Lab’s Antal Meiswinkel and Weslee Todkil, who have been knocking on the door the entire season. The sprinters should also not discount the rest of the Pheiffer clan, Roger and Brent.

But before the sprinters can get their way, they will have to neutralise Viljoen and Ironman Raynard Tissink. In the opening leg of the series, on the same circuit, the twosome decimated the field for an unchallenged one-two finish.

On that occasion Viljoen got the better of a slightly underdone Tissink, who was building towards his recent European Ironman campaign. This time it is Viljoen who is searching for form after crashing and cracking his collarbone at the national student championships five weeks ago.

Viljoen said the course and the expected race tactics also presented the perfect opportunity for several top, but unmarked riders.

After five events, Mecer-NMMU (61 points) lead the team classification ahead of Toyota-Cycle Lab (47), Friendly City Cycles (46), Walmer Club (38) and Volkswagen (26).

The race starts at 2pm from Grassmaster on Kragga Kamma Road. The 49km Challenge event, which is open to everyone, starts five minutes later.

For more information, contact Shane Bradfield on 074 114 4811.

Issued by:

Full Stop Communications

Coetzee Gouws
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082 575 7991

On behalf of:

EP Cycling