Brendon Davids won the Jock Tour after strong performances throughout the three-day event, which concluded at the Mbombela Stadium in Mpumalanga on Sunday.
The in-form RoadCover pro, who only confirmed his entry days before, finished the 138km final stage in third.
ProTouch’s James Fourie won the final stage, with Dimension Data’s Kent Main, who started in yellow yesterday, in second.
Brendon Davids leads the Jock Tour to win Overall. - Images - Memories4U photography
Fourie’s teammate Jayde Julius finished second in the general classification after he won Saturday’s 154km stage over Spitskop and Long Tom Pass.
Completing the overall podium was his teammate Myles van Musschenbroek, who finished fourth at Tour de Maurice recently.
Jayde Julius wins stage 2
“I had a big week of training coming into the tour so, to be honest, I didn’t think I’d have as good a time-trial as I did. I thought we’d ride for Mornay if he had a good opening stage,” said Davids.
“But one thing led to another and my legs continued to do well.”
The former African continental mountain bike champion said he was happy, if not surprised, with the weekend’s results.
“It’s my first tour win, the first time I’ve worn a yellow jersey on the road, so I’m pretty happy with how things have turned out,” said the 23-year-old from Fourways in Johannesburg.
Davids and Brad Potgieter in the chase of Julius
He explained that he had started the final stage determined to retain the yellow jersey, which he first wore after finishing second on Saturday, and second in the opening stage to Kent Main of Dimension Data.
The final day included the feared Boulders climb early on, but little happened until they hit the base of the second major climb, Hilltop, after 131km of racing.
Team ProTouch were the first to make a move when Pieter Seyffert and Gustav Basson tried to set Julius up for a final assault on yellow, but Davids was content to follow the wheels of Main and teammate Mornay van Heerden.
RoadCover’s Clint Hendricks then paced Davids up to the three attackers, with Main on Davids’ wheel. Job done, Hendricks dropped back, leaving Davids and Main to continue the uphill battle.
“Pieter and Gustav had gone too deep so they left Jayde isolated and it was just him, Kent and myself from there,” said Davids.
“Halfway up, I attacked on one of the switchbacks and only Kent really responded. Jayde laboured onto the wheel and I knew the next move would be the one that would give us the gap.”
The former teammates duly disposed of Julius only to realise there was one more hurdle to clear.
“With two kilometres to go we realised there was another rider up the road,” said Davids. “I completely buried myself to try and get within a winning distance, but it was too little too late.”
Bestmed Medical Scheme #JockTour elite men results & GC:
Mornay Van Heerden in the indivudual time trial
Stage One Individual time Trial:
1. Kent Main (Dimension data) 54:57
2 Brendon Davids (RoadCover) 55:17
3. Mornay Van Heerden (RoadCover) 55:45
Kent Main the fastest iin the Individual Time Trial
Stage two 140km:
1. Jayde Julius (Pro Touch) 4:14:23
2. Brendon Davids (RoadCover) 4:14:35
3. Myles Von Muschenbroek (Pro Touch) 4:15:26
Stage three 138km:
1. James Fourie (Protouch) 4:01:25
2. Kent Warwick Main (Dimension Data) 4:01:57
3. Brendon Davids (RoadCover) 4:01:57
4. Jaydé Julius (Protouch) 4:02:26
5. Thando Zothe (Rand Water - Transnet) 4:02:57
1. Brendon Davids (RoadCover) 9:10:50
2. Jayde Julius (Pro Touch) 9:12:44
3. Myles van Musschenbroek (Pro Touch) 9:18:02
4. Kent Main (Dimension Data) 9:18:18
5. James Fourie (Pro Touch) 9:19:48