Cycle Tour

SA riders shine at Argus

2012-03-11 12:07
Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - South Africans Reinhardt Janse van Rensburg and Ashleigh Moolman won the men's and women's titles at the Pick n Pay Cape Argus Cycle Tour here on Sunday, though both races were affected by crashes.

The women's race was marred by a fall near the finish, with more than 20 riders involved in the crash.

Some of the elite women favoured for the title were involved in the accident and were sent to hospital, including defending champion Cherise Taylor, who was placed in a neck brace, and Robyn de Groot.

Moolman, riding for the Imperial Toyota team, avoided the crash to win the race in two hours, 52 minutes, 24 seconds (2:52.24).

Janse van Rensburg, meanwhile, stayed clear of two early falls to secure the men's title. He was followed by fellow South Africans Herman Fouché and Jaco Venter in second and third place respectively.

As the leading men wound up for the sprint, former champion Arran Brown veered left and nearly hit the pavement, but managed to correct himself and prevent another crash as Janse van Rensburg pulled clear for victory in 2:36.17.

Janse van Rensburg, racing for the MTN-Qhubeka team, broke a two-year strangehold on the race held by team Bonitas Medscheme, who were affected by one of the early accidents.

Further down the field, sports minister Fikile Mbalula completed the race in tandem with professional rider Andrew McLean, raising awareness of the 'I Play Fair' anti-doping campaign.

"We must walk the talk," Mbalula said after completing the 111km race.

"We can't just tell people they must live healthy lifestyles. We must lead from the front."

Western Cape premier Helen Zille also finished the race on a tandem bike.

Japie Malan, the Cycle Tour's oldest finisher, completed the race in five hourse, 49 minutes, at the age of 92.

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