The three-time world champion set out determined to defend his titles in the time-trial and road race when the event started on Thursday, but it was not to be.
“As a competitor and a defending champion, you don’t want to lose. But well done to Benjamin, he had his best race ever,” said Du Preez.
“It’s definitely redemption for me to take the road race, especially in the way I did it,” said the 37-year-old.
After losing to Fruh, Du Preez said he knew he needed to keep tabs on the Swiss if he was to stand a chance of beating him in the 30.4km race on Saturday.
“Fruh has cerebral palsy, so, unlike a quadriplegic, he doesn’t struggle with blood pressure, he can get his heart rate up and he sweats. All this makes it quite hard, especially in the beginning, to stay with him.
“I knew I needed to watch him in the beginning and stick with him until I got myself going.”
The determined C6 quadriplegic was able to match Fruh’s pace and, as they entered the final lap, it became clear it would be a race between the two of them.
They started the final climb together and Du Preez gave it his all to summit first.
“Once I was at the top I just carried on.”
Having used the downhill to recover in the previous laps, he raced to the finish before Fruh could make up any ground.
“At the end I heard I had a bigger gap than I’d originally thought, so I probably could have enjoyed my victory a bit more. But either way it was a great win.”
Despite the event not going totally to plan, Du Preez said he was happy with his performance on the road.
“From all my races here in the past, I normally break away much earlier and it would then became a time-trial for myself, so I think from a tactical perspective this was the coolest race because it was really game-on until the last three kilometres.”
Taking home one silver and one gold medal, Du Preez said his fourth world title was a very special one.
“There are two things that make this one special,” he said.
“The first is that it’s in South Africa. I’m very proudly South African so to win a title in your country is quite something.
“The second thing is I became a father this year so it’s my first title with a kid. He was on the podium with me so it all makes it extra special.”
Toni Mould delivered South Africa’s third medal when she finished second in the 24.3km T1 category road race on Saturday. She finished behind Canada’s Shelley Gautier.