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18 Nov 2007 09:00
The 11th edition of the Pick ‘n Pay 94.7 Cycle Challenge delivered the expected drama when Neotel’s Nolan Hoffman crossed the line first but was immediately demoted to 10th position after being motor-paced back to the peloton following a tyre puncture with 5km to go.
This left the way to victory open for Boksburg-based professional Herman Fouche (23) of Konica Minolta, who was squeezed out in a photo finish, clocking 2:13,57 for the gruelling, 95km circuit of Johannesburg, raced in windy, overcast conditions.
“It’s not nice to win this way ... it has happened to me before, but that is racing,” he said.
Fouche was followed by Darryl Impi (MTN/Microsoft) and French-based South African Ian McLoud (Francias Dex Jeux).
The first spot off the podium was taken by Christoff van Heerden (Konica Minolta) and Hanco Kaggelhoffer (Harmony), who were both given the same time.
The women’s race was as thrilling as the men’s—although the number of entrants was considerably smaller.
Former winner Anriette Shoeman made it a one-two victory for the Proline team when she timed her sprint to perfection with a brilliant lead-out from Marissa van der Merwe to sneak ahead by a bike length, clocking 2:43,47.
Hot favourite Cherise Taylor’s inexperience showed when she started her sprint too early and had to settle for third place.
“I rode the route on Wednesday and cycled the finish three times, but on the day my mind just said to me, ‘Go,’ and I blew; I guess you can call that inexperience,” she said.
Police officers hurt
Meanwhile, 11 police officers were injured, four of them seriously, when their minibus overturned in Johannesburg.
An officer who is two months pregnant was treated as a high-risk patient while four others were treated for serious head, neck and back injuries.
The minibus overturned just before 5.30am on the N12 before the Golden Highway split.
Six other officers were treated for less serious injuries and abrasions.
All 11 patients were stabilised at the scene and transported to the Flora Clinic by ambulance. Traffic was disrupted on the N12 in the direction of Johannesburg while the scene was cleaned up.—Sapa
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