After finishing off the podium last year, Brendon Davids turned himself inside out to win the Race for Victory in Johannesburg on Sunday.
The in-form all-rounder said the victory was “special” as his diminished RoadCover team completely sacrificed themselves in a race they believed suited him perfectly.
“Willie Smit is in Europe and Ryan Harris is guest riding in Mauritius so we went there with a small team, but we went there with a plan,” said Davids.
It was anything but plain sailing for Clint Hendricks, Mornay van Heerden and Bradley Potgieter as each played their part in the 150km road race.
“Brad went in the first move and Clint and Mornay guarded me in the bunch. When the racing got hard in the cross-winds, midway through, they were there to help shelter me and put the pressure on,” he said.
After 65km of racing, Davids went off in pursuit of the early leaders, who had built up an advantage of three minutes. He was joined by riders from BCX and Rand Water as well as Dylan Girdlestone.
He and BCX’s Steven van Heerden broke away from the chasing bunch and, by the time they entered the Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve, they had the gap down to two-and-a-half minutes.
Davids then left Van Heerden behind as he bridged the gap to Potgieter and the rest of the leaders.
“Brad had been in the breakaway the whole day and from there he actually lit it up really well and destroyed the remnants of the breakaway. It was only Nolan Hoffman that was fresh enough to come with us.”
Together the three tackled the final major climb of the day and, after a near miss with an oncoming motorcyclist, Davids was first to reach the summit.
“I was a little bit toast from chasing and really putting the pressure on earlier in the race but I managed to get a gap on Nolan.
“I crested the climb with a bit of a gap and pinned my ears back and went for a time-trial for the last 30km,” said the Bestmed Jock Classic champion. “Luckily I managed to hold it off and Brad brought it home in third.”
He finished in 3:34:50, followed by BCX’s Reynard Butler two minutes later and Potgieter a further second back.
Davids said he would soon head Down Under to race for a number of teams in the hope of securing a contract for next year.
“I’ll be heading overseas shortly, so it’s good for my motivation before I go and good motivation for the guys before they head to the Jock this weekend.”