MTN-Qhubeka’s Reinhardt Janse van Rensburg and Toyota Momentum’s Ashleigh Moolman notched up victories in the men’s and women’s categories of the 2012 Cape Argus cycle tour on Sunday.
In near perfect conditions, Janse van Rensburg outsprinted the rest of the pack for victory in 2:36:17.
“I started doing this race when I was 13 and it’s a dream come true to have won it. My teammates and I put in a lot of hard work and it’s paid off,” Janse van Rensburg told the Mail & Guardian.
The race was unfortunately marred by two crashes. Team Bonitas Medscheme — consecutive winners since 2009 — were handed a major setback early on after several of their leading riders were involved a crash along hospital bend.
The fall resulted in Bonitas Medsheme team captain Ian Macleod having to withdraw from the race with a broken collarbone.
Last year’s winner Tyler Day also took a tumble in the crash, leaving him lagging behind the front pack and unable to repeat the performance
that saw him win in 2011.
“We had some bad luck with losing Ian and Tyler’s fall but you can’t really do anything, it happens. Hopefully we’ll be back to win again next year,” Luthando Kaka, Team Bonitas Medsheme member, told the M&G.
In the women’s race, Moolman won in 2:52:24 after she narrowly missed a multiple pile-up 300m from the finish.
“It feels great and I love the Argus. Coming from the Cape it’s always special for me to able to win this race and represent my home province. It was a bit chaotic right at the end but I am just happy to
have another win under my belt,” Moolman told the M&G.
Although the race was over from a competitive point of view by noon, tens of thousands more cyclists were making their way along the historic 110km route.
This year’s race saw an unlikely pairing of sports minister Fikile Mbalula teaming up with Western Cape premier Helen Zille and 22 other cyclists as part of the “I Play Fair Campaign”.
Spearheaded by the SA Institute of Drug Free Sport, the campaign seeks to promote ethical competition by reiterating the no tolerance approach to doping in sport.
“We’ve been championing the fact you can take part and achieve in sport without having to use performance enhancing substances and now
it’s time to talk the talk. I will cycle as far as I can — I just hope I can finish,” Mbalula told the M&G before the race.
Zille said the race was an example of how sport can be used to bridge the gap between poltical differences.
“We may have many tough conversations on how we see the future of our country, but in many ways we’re all good friends and get along well outside the political arena — today is an example of that,” Zille added.