The defending champion of the Clover Tour did not disappoint in Stage 2. Using the springboard of the biggest climb of the tour, Willie Smit went on the attack with Brendon Davids for company to win the second stage and take the lead from Nolan Hoffman.
The RoadCover riders used the tough terrain to apply pressure to overnight leader, Hoffman of Team BCX.
The early breakaway group on Abel Erasmus Pass
Starting with a breakaway group that contained Bradley Potgieter (RoadCover), RoadCover had the virtual leader on the road with Potgieter, David Maree (BCX) for company seeking KOM points, Gawie Combrink of NAD pro MTB and James Fourie of Pro Touch. The foursome gained over 4 minutes lead as they raced up the 18km climb of Abel Erasmus Pass.
RoadCover did not sit still on the climb as Smit went clear to cross over to the breakaway group before the top. It didn't end there as Davids was intent on being in the front as well, taking Steve van Heerden (BCX) along to join the swelling front group just in time for the final kilometer of the monster climb.
The pressure intensified as Smit forced the pace to crest the top alone. Davids & Van Heerden joined him on the descent and reached the half way point turnaround together.
Davids & Smit escape
The return journey up the climb was too much for Van Heerden and he dropped off the pace, leaving Smit & Davids to forge their way ahead.
The gap grew as the duo from RoadCover raced ahead, a puncture for Davids was quickly changed and once they realized the possibility of the win in the final 20 kilometers, there was no stopping them and the gap grew.
Smit takes the lead!
Smit crossed the finish line first with team mate Davids second in the 129km stage. A few minutes later Reynard Butler of Team BCX the best of the chase group to take third place.
The lead goes to Willie Smit ahead of Brendon Davids and Reynard Butler. The stage 3 time trial on Tuesday morning from Swadini is up next.
Results stage 2: 126km
1. Willie Smit (RoadCover Cycling) 3:18:42
2. Brendon Davids (RoadCover Cycling) st.
3. Reynard Butler (Team BCX) @ 4:09
4. Jayde Julius (Pro Touch) @ 4:12
5. Nico Bell (NAD Pro MTB) st.
6. Bradley Potgieter (RoadCover Cycling) st.
7. Steve Van Heerden (Team BCX) @ 4:24
8. Mitchell Eliot (Pro Touch) @ 14:17
9. Andrew Edwards (KZN) st.
10 Gawie Combrink (NAD Pro MTB) @ 14:30
1. Willie Smit (RoadCover Cycling) 6:42:48
2. Brendon Davids (RoadCover Cycling) @ 0:05
3. Reynard Butler (Team BCX) @ 4:23
4. Jayde Julius (Pro Touch) @ 4:30
5. Nico Bell (NAD Pro MTB) @ 4:30
6. Bradley Potgieter (RoadCover Cycling) @ 4:37
7. Steve Van Heerden (Team BCX) @ 4:41
8. Mitchell Eliot (Pro Touch) @ 22:18
9. Andrew Edwards (KZN) @ 22:18
10 David Maree (Team BCX) @ 22:30