South African Cycling

Evans, Knox hang onto lead

2014-05-16 16:08

Johannesburg - Kevin Evans and Max Knox have won a suspense-filled second stage to hang onto their overnight lead at the sani2c, which rolled out from Ixopo to Highflats in KwaZulu-Natal on Friday.

After a day of thrills and spills among the pro contenders, the FedGroup-Itec pair -- who hold seven sani2c titles between them -- raced into the finish at Jolivet farm to take the 99km queen stage in 3:36:58.

Unlucky RECM riders Erik Kleinhans and Nico Bell, who had chased hard in the closing kilometres, followed a minute later in 3:37:53.

Kleinhans tore his shoulder joint after taking a tumble on Charlie's Catwalk in sight of the finish, which has effectively ended the race for the second-placed team.

Gawie Combrinck and Johann Rabie (EAI South Africa), who won the Old Mutual joBerg2c over the same course two weeks ago, finished third in 3:38:54.

Evans and Knox head the overall standings on an aggregate time of 6:19:08.

Although Kleinhans and Bell lie second in 6:20:17, they will not be continuing the race.

After Friday's stage, Combrinck and Rabie move up onto the bottom step of the podium in 6:22:42, just over three-and-a-half minutes off the pace.

The ride of the day however belonged to young cross-country racers Rourke Croeser and Travis Walker of Kargo Pro, who led a breakneck charge down into the mist-shrouded Umkomaas River Valley.

"Rourke and Travis are very good in the technical stuff and are the best cross-country riders in South Africa," said Knox.

By the time they reached the valley floor, the Kargo Pro duo and Trek Racing's Arno du Toit and Brendon Davids had opened up a three-minute lead over the chasing teams.

Then Red-E/TIB's Andrew Hill crashed on one of the bridges before the first waterpoint at around 40km, taking Evans down with him.

"The other teams didn't wait for us and attacked instead," said Knox.

Slowly working their way back, Evans and Knox caught and passed the small chase group on the climb out of the valley.

By waterpoint two at the 67km mark, Du Toit and Davids had blown, leaving just the Evans/Knox and Bell/Kleinhans pairings 40 seconds behind Croeser and Walker.

With 15km to go, Evans and Knox caught the leaders, leaving Kleinhans and Bell and Combrinck and Rabie a further 30 seconds adrift.

"Rourke and Travis worked really hard. When we caught them, they helped us pace a bit and that may have cost them a few places," said Knox.

"They deserved the win but they suffered a bit and blew, so from there it was just us to the end."

Knox and Evans were ironically also the first casualties of the day, as the latter broke his chain three minutes before the start at MacKenzie Club.

Then it was the turn of Charles Keey, who suffered a mechanical in the opening kilometres, putting Cannondale-Blend out of contention for the stage.

Mixed leaders Ariane Kleinhans and Lourens Luus of RECM were also affected by a crash when Luus went down at the bottom of the Umkomaas descent. He however emerged unscathed and the pair ended first on the stage in 4:04:23 (7:01:08).

Sasol Racing's Yolande de Villiers and Johan Labuschagne finished in the runner-up spot in 4:17:04 (7:29:53), with Lise Olivier and Carel Bosman of Nedbank-VeloLife third in 4:27:49 (7:47:38).

Igna de Villiers and Dalene van der Leek of LGE-Midas-Bells Cycling came in fourth on the day in 4:28:06 (7:44:09) to take third on the overall standings.

In the women's race, South African and Swedish marathon champions Robyn de Groot and Jennie Stenerhag consolidated their overall lead.

The Biogen Toyota-Cape Brewing Company team took the stage in 4:20:15 (7:32:47).

The 265km race, over three days, finishes on Scottburgh's main beach on Saturday.

Results on day two of the 265km sani2c cycle race on Friday.

Stage 2

Men:
1. Kevin Evans & Max Knox (FedGroup-Itec) 3:36:58; 2. Erik Kleinhans & Nico Bell (RECM) 3:37:53; 3. Gawie Combrinck & Johann Rabie (EAI South Africa) 3:38:54; 4. Andrew Hill & Darren Lill (Red-E/TIB) 3:43:47; 5. Rourke Croeser & Travis Walker (Kargo Pro) 3:44:59

Women:
1. Jennie Stenerhag & Robyn de Groot (Biogen Toyota-Cape Brewing) 4:20:15; 2. Yolande Speedy & Yolandi du Toit (Garmin-ASG) 4:49:32; 3. Natalie Bergstrom & Tammy Visagie (Baeti) 3:40:23

Mixed:
1. Ariane Kleinhans & Lourens Luus (RECM) 4:04:23; 2. Yolande de Villiers & Johan Labuschagne (Sasol Racing) 4:17:04; 3. Carel Bosman & Lise Olivier (Biogen Toyota-Cape Brewing Company) 4:27:49

Overall:

Men:
1. Kevin Evans & Max Knox (FedGroup-Itec) 6:19:08; 2. Erik Kleinhans & Nico Bell (RECM) 6:20:17; 3. Gawie Combrinck & Johann Rabie (EAI South Africa) 6:22:42; 4. Andrew Hill & Darren Lill (Red-E/TIB) 6:27:23; 5. Rourke Croeser & Travis Walker (Kargo Pro) 6:30:15

Women:
1. Jennie Stenerhag & Robyn de Groot (Biogen Toyota-Cape Brewing) 7:32:47; 2. Yolande Speedy & Yolandi du Toit (Garmin-ASG) 8:14:21; 3. Natalie Bergstrom & Tammy Visagie (Baeti) 8:36:09

Mixed:
1. Ariane Kleinhans & Lourens Luus (RECM) 7:01:08; 2. Yolande de Villiers & Johan Labuschagne (Sasol Racing) 7:29:53; 3. Carel Bosman & Lise Olivier (Biogen Toyota-Cape Brewing Company) 7:44:09

Read more on:    kevin evans  |  johannesburg  |  cycling
NEXT ON SPORT24X

Contador eyes Tour double

2014-10-22 21:00

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

Red Bull Lionheart trail run - not for the fainthearted!

Entries are open, so what are you waiting for?

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Adventure holidays for your bucket list
Top 10 water sports to try before you die
6 impressive camping tips
LOL! The 8 stages of marathon running
 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
Vote

Besides the 'Big 3' of rugby, cricket and soccer, which of the 'smaller' sports in South Africa do you enjoy the most?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.