Crowds and supporters of the Mens Road Races could not have asked for more glorious weather on the last day of the South African National Road Championships which took place last week outside Wellington.
The riders did face some wind on the course, but that came as no surprise to those used to Boland conditions.
Dimension Data for Qhubeka’s Reinhardt Janse van Rensburg alongside teammate and under-23 Winner Stefan de Bod claimed the Elite Men’s race on Sunday 12 February.
The 14-lap, 179,5 km race began with the usual early tactics and attempts at breaks from the bunch, but the first real move of the day was that of Jacques Janse van Rensburg, Willie Smit, Carl Pasio, Ed Greene, Calvin Beneke and David Maree who formed the “leading six” just 20 km in.
Missing in action was Daryl Impey, who was attending his brother’s wedding, as well as Louis Meintjes and 2016 Road Race Champion Jaco Venter, who withdrew due to illness.
Not long into the race De Bod took off and was soon joined by Janse van Rensburg.
Another hot topic on the day was Willie Smit, who not only was part of the initial breakaway group of six riders, but also came across the line in third place to claim the bronze medal and his second podium at the championship.
The u-23 title was claimed by De Bod, with Nicholas Dlamini grabbing the silver medal and Morne van Niekerk coming over the line in third. “It was amazing team work out there today,” said De Bod. “It was windy and it’s not exactly a route that suits me, so I’m pretty happy to have pulled it off. I knew I just had to go full gas and see who follows me. In the end it worked out very well.”
In the 128,7 km u-19 Men’s race, Jason Oosthuizen finished in first place ahead of Devin Shortt in second and third placed Ryan Terry.