Team RoadCover have made a strong start to the year by winning the Mpumalanga Cycle Tour and will be looking to continue their success in the Bestmed Berge en Dale Championship next weekend.
Last year the outfit filled the top three places in the 102km road classic at the Cradlestone Mall in Muldersdrift on the West Rand and manager Nic White said they were looking for another good performance on February 4.
“We finished off 2016 nicely by taking the Double Century win in the Western Cape and the guys did well in the recent Mpumalanga Cycle Tour, so we are very pleased with that,” said White.
Jock Cycle Tour champion Willie Smit added the Mpumalanga general classification to his resume, with teammate Brendon Davids – who won the 947 Cycle Challenge in November – a handy second.
With the South African Road Championships taking place the week after the Berge en Dale, White said it would be a good examination for the team.
“At this time of year there is a lot of preparation for the SA champs (in Wellington from February 7 to 12) so it’s a little bit of a tester to do the Berge en Dale,” he said.
“It’s obviously not similar to racing in the Cape, but it’s a fairly challenging route and our guys will be aiming to do well. It’s the last race before the national champs so it’s a good time to do some sharpening up.”
Besides Smit, White said they had a number of riders who had decent chances of contesting the podium spots.
“Clint Hendricks (runner-up last year) won the Cape Town Cycle Tour and was third at the nationals so he will obviously be hoping to have a good ride.
“Brendon won the 947 last year and has started on a good footing so he’s one of the guys who could do well for us.”
White added that Johannesburg rider Kent Main knew the area well and that Brad Potgieter, who won last season’s Emperors Palace Classic, was another with the potential to make an impact.
He said their focus beyond Berge en Dale would be on the large participation races.
“Events such as the Cape Town Cycle Tour, Tour Durban, the Amashova and 947 Cycle Challenge always hold a lot of importance for us.
“But the bigger tours are also essential in our planning because the guys are good at them and they help to build depth in the team.”
The Bestmed Berge en Dale Championship includes a 55km road race and 40 and 15km mountain bike events.
Entries close on today. For more information or to enter, visit www.asgevents.co.za.