“It was a great way to start the year,” Gouveris said today. “The race is held out of season and everyone wants to do well in it to build confidence for the rest of the year.
“To win it is important to gain momentum.”
Winning in his home town was also special, Gouveris said. “I won the overall title last year, and I wanted to do it again this year.
“It’s an important event and winning in PE is a priority for me.”
The Alfa Bodyworks rider won the first two criteriums, but lost to Sullivan in the third.
“The first day went perfectly; everything went according to plan. That boosted my confidence heading into the next day,” Gouveris recalled.
“In the second race, I was being watched, so I decided to change things a bit.”
He attacked and caught most of the other riders off-guard.
“Max and I broke away. We led together but I just managed to out-sprint him. It worked out really well in the end.”
Gouveris felt he may have been a little complacent on the third day and it probably cost him.
“I was so high in confidence from the first two days that I may have eased off. I lacked a little concentration towards the end and got boxed in.”
He also admitted to making a tactical error on the final stretch.
“There was a cross wind, blowing from right to left,” he said. “I wanted to move over to the left so that other riders would not be able to get into my slipstream.
“But as I moved to the left, the [reduced] bunch also did and I got surrounded.
“I could only have a proper go with about a hundred metres left, but by then I was too far back and I had to settle for second.”
Gouveris, who also won the Makro Bestmed Cycle Tour in September, was understandably satisfied with his results in his first event of the year.
“You never really know what form you have in pre-season,” he said. “You don’t know what to expect on race day. I think I surprised myself.
“I’m really happy with my form and I’m hoping to build on this in the next few months leading up to the Cape Argus.”
His next important race would be the Fast One in Meyerton on January 28, he said.