RoadCover’s Clint Hendricks said victory at the National Classic Cycle Race was a major boost ahead of his final two events for the year.
He won the 125km road race, which took place to and from Carnival City today, after he narrowly beat BCX’s Reynard Butler.
“I’m really happy to win, it’s a good confidence builder for the next two events, the last for the year, and it means the preparation is going well,” said Hendricks, who won the Midvaal 100 Cycle Challenge two weeks ago.
The plan, he said, had been to “take it easy” for the early stages of the race, but a number of early splits forced him to think on his feet.
BCX made the most of their numbers and caused a major split roughly 70km in. Determined not to get left behind, Hendricks made sure to keep himself up front.
Part of the group, which consisted of six-time Amashova winner Nolan Hoffman, Calvin Beneke, David Maree, Reynard Butler and Tyler Day, Hendricks said they chased to catch a group of three further up the road.
“We rode really well together and caught a breakaway group of three, which consisted of Pieter (Seyffert) and two others, before a chasing group caught us.”
They were reeled in, shortly before entering Heidelberg, by Hendricks’ teammates Willie Smit, who has just signed with Katusha-Alpecin, and Ryan Harris, as well as juniors Rickardo Broxham and Jason Oosthuizen.
The group rode together for the next 2km, before Hendricks said the attacks started to come thick and fast.
Keeping his cool, Hendricks waited it out and, as a result, was able to power to the finish, were he crossed the line millimetres ahead of Butler.
“It wasn’t the best route for myself and I don’t think it was the best route for the team, but at the end of the day it all worked out for us,” said Hendricks.