The first stage of the BestMed Tour of Good Hope took place on Monday morning from La Paris near Franschoek in the Boland.
The 102km stage through Paarl was won by The Irish rider, Philip Lavery, riding for Alpha Body Works, from Brendon Davids of RoadCover and Calvin Beneke of BCX.
Lavery was one of 12 men who escaped midway through the race. They gained an advantage of nearly three minutes, but the chase by Team RoadCover brought the gap down to just under one minute.
The start of stage 1 of the BestMed Tour of Good Hope (Images Rob Ward)
The breakaway group had a substantial number of riders from Team BCX, and they did a lot of the pacemaking. The likes of Calvin Beneke, and mountain bikers, HB Kruger and Waylon Woolcock in the thick of things.
The breakaway group speeds through the Boland
RoadCover had only Brendon Davids in the move, but he was reluctant to commit with his team leader Willie Smit in the bunch. Philip Lavery, riding for Alpha Body Works was also missing their GC man, Jayde Julius.
Dimension Data Continental had two riders represented, but with defending Champion Stefan De Bod behind, there was not too much to ride for.
The chase from the peleton, led mostly by Brad Potgieter of RoadCover Cycling team, and some riders from Alpha Body Works, eventually got the break a bit closer, before a concentrated effort in the final 10kms from RoadCover brought it down further. Not much time was lost to the winners of the stage. Full results and time gaps due to be released.
The Bunch being led by Brad Potgieter
Philip Lavery was clearly the fastest of the breakaway group in the sprint to the line. Followed by Brendon Davids of RoadCover, Calvin Beneke and HB Kruger of Team BCX.
Philip Lavery wins the stage for Alpha Body Works
Clint Hendricks of RoadCover talks about the day: “We were active but a move went, and only Brendon made it from our team. It put us under a bit of pressure, however, there were no GC danger men in the move. Brad rode solidly to keep the gap minimal, and we all did a few turns near the end of the stage to reduce the gap a little” says Clint, “Brendon was our policemen, and he finished strongly in second place, so we are pleased to get through the first stage!”
The early action!
The second stage of the Tour is the 27km Individual Time Trial from the Boland Agricultural School. The undulating route should separate the real contenders from the field.