On Sunday, we were part of the 25 000 other cyclist causing havoc in and around the busiest city in Africa. The 94.7 is the second biggest race in the world in terms of participants, after the Cape Argus. Every South-African pro cyclist has look up to the 94.7 once starting out, and thought, “wow it must be cool to win it one day”. And that was the goal for our team MTN Qhubeka, again this year.
Arran and I were the favourites to win, along with Nolan Hoffman, Tyler Day and Herman Fouche. But Arran made this race a huge goal of his for the year and I think his preparation was unmatched by any one else. Making him a deserving winner.
The new circuit, which was introduced last year, makes for some tough racing in the first 20km. I didn’t race the 94 last year, and it was quite a bit new to me. The King was in a new place, a little on after a left turn off the highway. David Maree outsprinted Dennis van Niekerk and Johann Rabie.
But both years a break has ridden clear on the same place, just after the King. It makes sense, as the race keeps on climbing for a little bit more reaches an altitude of 1800m at that particular point.
Bonitas had 5 men, we had 3, while Tasol had 1, along with Ian Mcleod and Louis Meintjes. It was a nervous moment, as we felt that if Bonitas should start using their numbers towards the end and Mcleod and Meintjes also join in, we might have our backs against the wall, but because we had both Myself and Arran represented, while Herman Fouche and Nolan Hoffman were left behind, we decided to push on.
We worked well together with the 5 bonitas riders to open and maintain a healthy lead. There wasn’t much interested for the 2 hotspots and 1 KOM prime, which was all won by Johann Rabie.
Bonitas decided not to attack but rather set it up for their sprinter Tyler Day, which played into Arran and my hands well, as we too also are powerful finishers. James Perry tried two times, but to no avail, as Martin Wesemann did an excellent job keeping things calm.
It was a nervous affair approaching the traffic circle 300m to go. Hanco Kachelhoffer lead into the circle. I got a good kick on the exit and opened up the gap behind me to Tyler Day. Arran showed his phenomenal spead as he passed me in the final 100m, to make it a 1-2 for us.
The perfect result, to cap off the season. I will spend the next few weeks sitting on the beach to getting rid of my somewhat peculiar complexion, as my off-season starts.
We have our first training camp in December, where I am looking forward to see all the new equipment and goodies. I’ll be back soon, with more updates. Ciao