ProTouch’s Gustav Basson won the inaugural Tour de Limpopo when the four-day race finished in Polokwane on Thursday.
Basson finished fifth on the final day in a time of 3:07:47, while BCX’s Steven van Heerden claimed the stage win in 3:06:12.
Van Heerden’s teammates Marc Pritzen and David Maree took second and third place respectively, with AC/DC Luso’s Jason Oosthuizen fourth.
“Winning the tour is really nice, especially for the team and sponsors involved. It’s what they want and expect from us,” said Basson.
“It is however a team effort to win an event. Without them it would not be impossible.”
He added that the team executed their plans perfectly. “We felt like we were a unit and everyone’s effort was great,” said Basson.
He said ProTouch came to the tour to win the event and always tried to win the races they took part in.
“We work as a team and try to win as a team. The boys rode phenomenally today. If it wasn’t for them this wouldn’t be possible.
“Our management team has also been outstanding. Tony Harding and Brad and Sasha Eliot helping us in the car and with everything that we do makes it all possible. It is nice to give back to the other guys as well,” said Basson.
Van Heerden said they had wanted to go on an early move and get some guys up the climb first and hopefully Clint Hendricks could jump over.
“Unfortunately Gustav and Jayde [Julius] marked him and wouldn’t let him go. Towards the end, after most of the climbs, our plan changed a bit with Clint not getting any gaps in the bunch.
“We decided to ride for the stage and it worked out perfectly, one-two-three, so we’re happy with that,” said Van Heerden.
Basson said they knew that BCX were coming to the race also wanting to win.
“The guys controlled everything for us. I feel like I had a free ride today. Mitch [Eliot] and Myles [van Musschenbroek] were controlling the front up to the climb and James [Fourie] and Jayde up and over the climb.
“It’s a proper team [effort] and it’s nice racing when everything works and comes together.”