The Telkom 94.7 Cycle Challenge took place over the past weekend. Daryl Impey of Orica Scott won the event in a late solo breakaway. The World Tour rider finished a full minute clear of Calvin Beneke (Team BCX) and Eddie Van Heerden (RoadCover).
Impey races in Europe for most of the year, but in his ‘off season’ and build up he is back in SA and he was determined to have a good showing in Joburg’s biggest race!
The event attracts a lot of interest and competitors, and it is essentially a showdown of all of SA’s top riders to end off the year. The race is short and intense and the finale through Steyn City North of the city provides an exciting finish.
The start line, Brendon Davids on the left, Clint Hendricks, Mornay Van Heerden, Eddie Van heerden, and Daryl Impey. - Image Nic White
The Elite event was hotly contested and it was not long before the day’s breakaway was established. Impey forced the pace, taking Clint Hendricks and Willie Smit of RoadCover as well as Nolan Hoffman and Calvin Beneke of Team BCX into the escape.
The five man group did not have the best cohesion, but nevertheless the gap grew to over one minute heading to the hills of the final 15 kilometres.
Willie Smit had committed himself to the success of the breakaway, forcing the pace for his team mate, Hendricks. “I did as much as I could to make sure that we could stay away, and I was confident Clint would have a chance to race Daryl to the end” said Smit, who could not follow the final accelerations after doing the bulk of the work.
“As we got closer to the end, I made a surge on Cedar road. Daryl looked to be in trouble so I pushed on, but followed by Calvin Beneke I did not commit fully.” says Hendricks. Beneke had Hoffman just off the back so saw no reason to assist.
“Impey came back to us, and just before the gates of Steyn City he attacked. I looked at Calvin, who shook his head. I hesitated for that moment, and then it was too late. Impey had departed…” said Hendricks.
Back in the bunch, the race was on. Eddie Van Heerden of RoadCover, the runner up in 2016, followed a few surges, and through Steyn City in the final 10 kilometres, he came up to the slowing remnants of the break away group. Beneke and Hendricks.
The Podium, Calvin Beneke, Daryl Impey and Eddie Van Heerden - Image : Cyclenation.
“I was feeling ok in the race, and with two guys in the break, we just waited in the group. The finale was hard so I followed some moves, eventually joining Clint and Calvin. Clint told me to go for it so I did, but not realising I was in position for the second place, I mistimed my effort and Calvin passed me at the line for second place!” said Eddie.
“After a tough year where I was sidelined by Illness, I did not expect to be here, but I have just started racing again. I am very pleased to have reached the podium, but sorry we couldn’t be on the top step!” said Eddie of the team’s efforts for the day.
The junior result for the day went to Travis Barrett (OfficeGuru.co.za) who finished in 8th position, winning the category, just one place ahead of Marc Pritzen (Team Karan Beef) the second placed junior. Quite a turnaround from the usual visitors to the podium in their final junior race of the year!
Travis Barrett, wins the junior race for OfficeGuru.co.za
This was also the final race for the RoadCover Cycling team after a successful racing campaign in 2017.
The RoadCover Cycling Team with Eugene Beck of RoadCover on the left.
The final results of the Telkom 94.7 Cycle Challenge:
1. Daryl Impey - Orica Scott - 2:13:30
2. Calvin Beneke - Team BCX 2:14:31
3. Eddie Van Heerden - RoadCover 2:14:31
4. Clint Hendricks - RoadCover 2:14:32
5. Jayde Julius - Pro Touch 2:14:34
6. Shaun Nick Bester - Sporting Tavira 2:14:34
7. Reynard Butler - Team BCX 2:14:35
8. Travis Barrett* - Officeguru.co.za 2:14:38
9. Marc Pritzen* - Team Karan Beef 2:14:38
10. Willie Smit - RoadCover 2:14:39
* Junior Category