Wolhuter, Hill sprint to stage victory at Zuurberg
Chris Wolhuter and Andrew Hill took one back from overnight leaders Kevin Evans and Pieter Seyffert as they sprinted to the stage win on day two of the three-day PwC Great Zuurberg Trek near Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
Wolhuter and Hill, riding in the colours of TIB Insurance, finished in 3:43:01 to hold the Biogen Volcan-Altech Autopage duo at bay by a single second to claim the 78km queen stage that took in remote portions of the Addo Elephant National Park.
Cycle Lab’s Andrew Mclean and Bruce Diesel finished a distant third in 4:03:00 on the tough stage that featured almost 2 000m of climbing.
Evans and Seyffert retain their positions at the top of the leaderboard with an aggregate time of 6:23:29 and will take a 1:18 lead into the final day.
The young Isostar team of Jurgens Uys and Jason Meaton finished fourth in 4:03:25 to remain third in the general classification in 6:52:24.
The stage is now set for an interesting showdown on the fast-paced 50km final stage.
While Wolhuter and Hill may have the technical advantage on the Hayterdale cross-country trails, the race could come down to the final climb up Zuurberg Pass, where Evans and Seyffert asserted their authority on the opening stage.
“I think a minute’s enough to win this race if you don’t have any bad luck or mechanicals,” said Evans.
“Andrew and Chris were stronger today than yesterday, so our goal was just to ride with them, not lose time and defend our lead.”
The race started at a brisk pace as the riders descended into the valley from Camp Figtree towards Slagboom Dam, with the foursome going clear on the technical Monty’s Python climb just before the first waterpoint.
“Then we climbed up and out of the Addo Park grasslands, where I just sat at the front and rode a nice consistent pace,” said defending champion Hill.
On one of the recommended portage sections after the second waterpoint, the Isostar youngsters caught the leaders but the elastic snapped once more when the tempo was increased.
There were some anxious moments for the overall leaders when Evans’s chain kept dropping, forcing him and Seyffert to chase back several times in the vicinity of the radio mast high on the northern ridge of the Zuurberg mountains.
“We then set a really strong pace through the third and fourth waterpoints along the Karoo Koppies section, with a tailwind behind us and a nice smooth track,” said Hill.
However, his turn for trouble came when a lead motorbike crashed in front of him, snagging a roll of farm fencing and his rear wheel in the process.
After extricating Hill from the barbed wire, the foursome paced together on For Pete’s Sake, the final sting in the tail climb, before deciding the stage in a nail-biting finishing sprint.
In the women’s race, the Merrell team of Andrea Shirley and Sanmari Woithe claimed their second stage victory in 5:10:12 for a combined time of 8:44:58.
Multiple Cape Town Cycle Tour champion Anriette Schoeman and Africa Silks teammate John Wakefield won the day in the mixed category in 4:47:23 for an overall time of 8:01:50.
Visit www.greatzuurbergtrek.co.za. Follow @zuurbergtrekker or find the race on Facebook.
CAPTION: Chris Wolhuter (left) and Andrew Hill (second from left) outsprint Kevin Evans and Pieter Seyffert (far right) to claim the second stage of the three-day PwC Great Zuurberg Trek near Addo outside Port Elizabeth on Saturday. Photo: Full Stop Communications.
Two players from the Kouga Cricket Performance...
The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) delegation...
Consumers owed Eastern Cape municipalities a massive R8.2 billion at the end of the fourth quarter of the municipal financial year that ended on 30 June 2016, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Cape said on Thursday. "The poor state of the economy in the Eastern Cape is biting hard. In June 2015, this figure stood at R7-billion...
The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) is...
One of the common-law duties of an employer is a safe...
The South African National Roads Agency Soc Ltd...
Isuzu Trucks Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) range...
Ten Nelson Mandela Bay high schools are set to benefit...
Two teenagers, aged 16 and 17 years old, were arrested on Wednesday afternoon by the Eastern Cape Provincial Gang Investigation Unit (formerly known as the Gang Task Team), following a fatal shooting in Bethelsdorp on Tuesday...
The Business community has welcomed a decision...
- Violence rocks NMMU for a third day, while thousands expected to march on Union Buildings
- NMMU says it remains open and learning is taking place
- Notorius Port Elizabeth gang leader denied bail
- UPDATE: NMMU appeals for calm while it's working to get classes underway
- Five denied bail for gruesome murder in Grahamstown