Cape Town - Defending champion Kent Main
repeated his triumph of a year ago as he climbed to victory on top of Du
Toitskloof Pass on the third stage of the Tour of Good Hope near Paarl on Wednesday.
The 137km queen stage of South
Africa's premier road stage race saw the DiData Continental team scoop the
top three placings.
Main, a 22-year-old pro from
Johannesburg, and team-mate Stefan de Bod, who won the overall title two years ago,
crossed the finish line together in 3:39:56.
Completing the clean sweep of
the podium was Italian Matteo Sobrero, who got the better of Gustav Basson
(ProTouch) in the closing metres.
With two stages left, De Bod
provisionally leads the race ahead of Main and Basson.
The key element in their
success during the stage, Main said, was their teamwork.
He and team-mates Luca Mozzato
and Louis Visser were part of a breakaway group that went clear after 40km and,
although they were later joined by De Bod, their efforts came to nothing as the
peloton reassembled before the start of the finishing climb.
then started off things at the beginning of the climb, keeping the pace nice
and high," said Main, who won the tour in a heart-stopping grand
finale by one second last year.
and Ollie (Jones) did a good job. Once they peeled off Matteo did a massive job
for us with a bit of a surge, bringing it down to about five riders at the
that position, with about 4km to go, I did a small acceleration to get rid of
the last riders, leaving just Stefan and myself."
He said they worked together
until the finish, riding conservatively but putting in some harder turns to
open the gap to their closest challengers.
biggest thing I can say today is that it was a perfect team effort. If it wasn’t for that, it would not have worked out so well for
us in the end," said Main.
team-mates were able to put pressure on the rest so by the time they reached the
climb they were already battling a bit."
The stage winner said they
rode fairly conservatively in the early breakaway.
Stefan came across to us, we tried to open up a gap, but, because of the nature
of the course, a lot of guys came back to us," he said.
knew BCX were chasing for the sprint points so we sat up and waited for them
until the 115km mark and had a free ride all the way to the climb.
there, everyone did a massive job for the team and as a unit we really worked
Although he felt his form was
better than 12 months ago, he reiterated that there was still a lot of work to
tour is not over yet and anything can happen,"
said Main, suggesting that they would continue to ride aggressively to limit
the stress of anyone dangerous getting in a breakaway.
Ariane Luthi consolidated her place at the top of the standings with her second
stage win in as many days.
She stopped the clock on
4:20:39 to beat Carmen Buchacher (dormakaba) and Lucy James to the line.
Luthi, who won the individual
time-trial on Tuesday, led a breakaway of six after an attack by Buchacher had
spread the field. Their breakaway companions were national road champion Carla
Oberholzer (Demacon), Namibian Vera Adrian and Catherine Colyn.
basically rode to the start of the pass fairly slowly, but Carmen then started
pacing quite hard," she said.
though the legs were starting to hurt a bit, I felt comfortable with the pace.
"I thought Carla was my biggest threat for yellow,"
I looked back and saw her suffering a bit, I pushed harder and was able to
force a split in the final few kilometres. Carmen and Lucy stayed with me."
From that point, it became a
tactical battle, but she managed to surge ahead in sight of the finish and was
able to maintain the gap.
am very pleased to win the stage and keep the yellow jersey. In comparison to
last year, I feel 100 times better and that’s
important," she said.
do feel confident, but in road racing anything can happen and I will not be underestimating
anyone over the last two days."
Thursday's fourth stage -
the same one that was cancelled due to high winds last year - is over 134km with an equally challenging 2 900m of climbing.
Stage three, 137km
1 Kent Main (DiData) 3:39:56
2 Stefan de Bod (DiData)
3 Matteo Sobrero (DiData)
4 Gustav Basson (ProTouch)
5 Frans Claes (Alfa
6 Redwan Ebrahim 3:41:06
7 Ollie Jones (DiData) 3:41:22
8 Christopher Lagane 3:41:25
9 Jayde Julius (ProTouch)
10 HB Kruger (ProTouch)
1 Alex Pavlov 3:53:28
2 Neil Timm 3:53:28
3 Jaco Cronje 3:53:29
1 Martin Epstein 4:12:23
2 Hein Kruger 4:12:58
3 Mark Pretorius 4:13:26
1 Leon Olivier 4:20:34
2 Guy le Ray Cook 4:20:36
3 Jose Antunes 4:20:40
1 Ricardo Broxham 3:41:27
2 Callum Ormiston 3:42:00
3 Tiano da Silva 3:44:01
4 Tyrone Filander 3:57:10
5 Ethan Warrin 4:10:29
1 Ariane Luthi (Team Spur)
2 Carmen Buchacher (dormakaba
3 Lucy James 4:20:45
4 Carla Oberholzer (Demacon) 4:21:23
5 Catherine Colyn 4:21:34
6 Vera Adrian (dormakaba SA)
7 Yzette Oelofse (Team
8 Dalene van der Leek 4:26:22
9 Anneleen Bosma 4:29:40
10 Aurelie Halbwachs 4:29:42
1 Stefan de Bod (DiData)
2 Kent Main (DiData) 7:30:33
3 Gustav Basson (ProTouch)
1 Ariane Luthi (Spur) 9:03:00
2 Carla Oberholzer (Demacon)
3 Lucy James 9:06:18