Monday, August 24, 2009

Lange has the legs at Lost City

Podium places: Aaron Brown, teammate of the winning sprinter, Malcolm Lange [middle], with Neotel's Nolan Hoffman 3rd.
Lange shows clean pair of heels in final sprint

In near perfect cycling conditions on Saturday 22 August, Team Medscheme's Malcolm Lange, haunting well worn hunting grounds, secured his 402nd victory. Lange went into the race a clear favorite. His win in the 120km EPR Randfontein Cycle, at Tarlton last week, was his 400th victory, followed by 401 in the Tour de Soweto to complete the weekend double. The Sun City route was unchanged from 2008, which did nothing to hurt his chances.

Lange's experience and Nic White's tactical genius proved decisive; Lange won the CANSA Lost City Classic in a jaw dropping 2:18 54, ahead of Aaron Brown and Neotel's Nolan Hoffman. Hoffman has taken 2nd place more times than he cares to remember, but when Lange is on form, he seems unbeatable, and he had the legs on Saturday.

The day started off chilly, with the mercury hovering just above zero, but not long after the day warmed beautifully, and the wind stayed away. The organisers had their hands full, trying to guide 4500 riders safely over narrow roads that also happen to be the only roads in the area. And being a fairly flat route with a few testing drags, it is not for the fainthearted. Falls were reported in the A and B groups riding 103km, and the morning chill was interrupted by the wailing of ambulance sirens.

The difficulty is trying to get the very large pelotons to remain on the left margin of the road. Since the course is flat, and it is early in the season, riders are skittish and unused to the large, tight bunches and high speeds. More motorbikes were dispatched to chaperone each peloton, which seems to have helped some.

A few riders complained about the policy of numbers that cannot be collected on race day, a policy that requires riders to stay overnight at Sun City, something not every cyclist can afford. This is something for the organisers to consider, possibly next time round.

Below are the top 10 finishers of the elite men, excluding the top 3.

Other results
Elite ladies:
Cashandra Slingerland 02:46:59
Marissa v.d. Merwe
Carla Swart

Above: Gary Rabie.

Vets 30 - 39:
Gary Rabie 02:26:33
Craig Harvey
Jacques Fullard

Above: Anton Duvenage wins 40+

Vets 40 - 49:
Anton Duvenage 02:21:58
Wayne Booysen
Steven Scheepers

Read Bruce Diesel's blogabout the race for the 40+ group here.

Vets 50+ :
Joe Visser 02:45:56
Gerrit Scheepers
Johan Spies

Junior Men:
Jaco van Wyk 02:38:14
Joshua Windt
Martin Scheppel

Junior Women:
Michelle Corbett 02:54:21
Francesca v.d. Merwe
Elzanne Myburgh

A Bunch winner:

More results here.
Some of the above photos sourced from here.
MTB results here.

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