Cape Argus champion Herman Fouché returned from his European campaign to claim his second straight win in the Bestmed Campus2Campus Super Classic in Potchefstroom on September 22.
In scenes reminiscent of last year’s race, Fouché once again edged out Nolan Hoffman and other fast men in an electrifying dash to the line.
“Coming back from Europe, I knew we still had a big racing season in South Africa and that my European experience would give me the edge I needed to help the team to victory,” says Fouché.
“It’s a very challenging route, with rolling hills and a lot of wind, where you can very easily be caught out in the gutter.”
The 26-year-old sprinter managed to hold his own in blustery conditions on the 95km out-and-back course between Potch and Ventersdorp.
“The wind played a big role and we were on the side of the road all day,” he says.
With the prevailing conditions making the sustainability of any major breakaway unlikely, the racing ultimately came down to the mass sprint, where Fouché gained the upper hand over his more powerfully built counterparts.
“The last five-kilometre stretch is like it was designed for me – a long drag before it flattens out in the last 400 metres before the line,” he smiles.
“The Campus2Campus is a goal race for Team Bonitas and it was such a rewarding feeling to win after all the hard work the team put in to get me to the line fresh.”
The Johannesburg resident, who lives with some of his team-mates in Wilgeheuwel, was recently given the opportunity to race for French team Martigues SC-Vivelo.
He was fortunate enough to be a part of the team that rode to overall victory in the UCI 2.2-rated Tour of Bulgaria in September.
“I gained lots of experience and, climbing not being my strongest point, I spent most of the tour pacing in front for our team leader,” Fouché explains.
“It was a case of pace till you can’t go anymore, then just survive to get to the finish and recover for the next day’s pacing!”
His personal best result was fifth on the opening stage and he finished 78th on GC.
Despite the taste of success at international level, Fouché says his victory in the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour in March, which came after a string of podium finishes, remains the highlight of his career.
“To see all the hard work by the riders and staff and then to go over that line first just left me speechless!
“I’m happy to finally tick the race off my bucket list but Bonitas and I will be defending the title again next year,” he warns.
But, for now, the team will focus on what remains of 2013.
“There are not too many races left, but we will end the season with a bang!”
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