Paulshof cyclist wins toughest one-day race

 

Hot on his victory of last week’s Knysna Cycle Tour, Team RoadCover’s Brendon Davids of Paulshof emerged victorious in this year’s Bestmed Jock Classic.

The one-day, three-stage cycle race took place on 15 July along a route between Nelspruit, White River and Sabie in Mpumalanga.

“Despite the fact that this is a winter race, the Lowveld temperatures were high in the middle of the day, making it tough for those riders used to the colder conditions of the rest of the country,” Davids said.

Added to the difficulty was the stop-start format of the race, which challenges riders to maintain their focus and rhythm throughout the race.

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“Although there were only four riders on Team RoadCover, what we lacked in numbers we made up in tenacity and grit.” Davids was referring to the RoadCover team members’ ability to negotiate the terrain of the event which is regarded as South Africa’s toughest one-day race.

Stage one saw Davids placing third with a time of 1:07:43, behind Team BCX rider Steven van Heerden and teammate Nolan Hoffman.

“Although this was my first time riding the Jock Classic, our strategy was to establish a gap in the second stage in order to set up a possible win overall.”

Emerging victorious from stage two, Davids and the team were determined to open up with an aggressive start. “I knew stage three was going to be a tough ride through the winding mountainous area of the Highlands Meander,” he said while referring to the Long Tom Pass with its elevation of 2 150m, which comes at the start of the third stage.

“At this point of the race, I somehow managed to get a second wind.” Davids attacking strategy enabled him to get a gap some 2km into the climb of stage three. “I think my strength was probably more mental than anything else.”

The RoadCover cyclist took top honours for stage three, securing an overall victory with his final solo finish in 1:27:15, four minutes in front of Team BCX’s Reynard Butler.

 

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