Willie Smit of RoadCover Cycling Team successfully defends the Clover Tour
Finishing the final stage safely in the group, Smit makes it a hat-trick of overall wins at this event.
Smit comfortable in the leaders jersey for the 3rd consecutive title at the Clover Tour
Smit's team mate, Clint Hendricks won the final stage into Swadini, A Forever Resort, in a well timed bike throw in the sprint to the line. Hendricks had been in a breakaway with points leader, Nolan Hoffman (Team BCX Cycling) for 40kms, along with Fabian Valsecchi (NorthCliff Cycles).
Hendricks wins the final stage in a photo finish from Butler
The trio were swallowed by the chasing bunch in the final meters but Hendricks had the power to hold off the fast charging Reynard Butler of Team BCX.
In the overall competition, Brendon Davids (RoadCover) finished as runner up to Smit, with Mpumalanga mountain bike stalwart, Nico Bell (NAD Professional MTB Team) finishing 3rd thanks to his strong time trial. Steven van Heerden & Reynard Butler both of Team BCX were 4th and 5th respectively.
The bunch races in the Limpopo Province
The best young rider was Mitchell Eliot of ProTouch Sports. He has come back from a bad accident at this event a year ago, to ride strongly and consistent to win this competition.
Team BCX's David Maree collected the most mountain points to win the polka dot jersey of the King of the Mountains competition.
Nolan Hoffman (Team BCX) was the most consistent with 2 stage wins and points competition winner.
The event took place in a new region, allowed for a bit more diversity of terrain and turned out a successful event in Swadini, Limpopo province.
Final General Classification:
1. Willie Smit (RoadCover)
2. Brendon Davids (RoadCover) @ 57s
3. Nico Bell (Nad Pro MTB Team) @ 4:43s
4. Steven Van Heerden (Team BCX) @ 5:16s
5. Reynard Butler (Team BCX) @ 5:49s
On the previous day the peleton had 2 stage opportunities. The morning's individual time trial and an afternoon criterium.
Willie Smit extended his lead in the morning test, edging Nico Bell (NAD pro MTB) into second place in the stage, with Steven van Heerden (Team BCX) in 3rd. Brendon Davids finished 4th, securing second place overall. Bell moved up into the 3rd place in the general classification.
Smit after the individual time trial
The afternoon stage was a criterium race in the Swadini Camp, over a circuit of 2km, ridden for over 45minutes, Nolan Hoffman (Team BCX) fought courageously to stay in contact with the attackers on the hilly and technical route. He timed his sprint well to pass Smit in the final meters and win. Extending his points competition lead over Smit. Reynard Butler of Team BCX finished 2nd in the criterium. There were no changes of the classifcation in the criterium.
The final kilometer drag in the time trial for Brendon Davids
The tour was a successful one for the orgainisers and participants, now based out of Swadini Forever Resort, the style of the race has changed from the previuos editions and is less hilly. It was still challenging with changes of terrain, the Queen stage up the Abel Erasmus Pass. Windy sections on the flat, but also required many skills of riders to race the Individual time trial as well as a technical and hilly criterium.
The top riders in the country will be present at the Winter Criterium series this Sunday 13 August at Melrose Arch in Johannesburg. Racing starts from 08h00, and the elite race is from 10h30.