Before the race, due to a possible lack of preparation, Shirley said he was not sure how the race would play out.
“I am over the moon with the result,” Shirley told In the Bunch today. “It was a really tough day out and it could not have actually gone better.
“I gave it everything out on the tracks yesterday; I rode myself in the red the whole way.”
On top of his third consecutive win, Shirley also managed to break his personal record set last year when he clocked 6:25:43, improving on his time by six minutes.
“The last section, heading onto the tar road from Jeffreys Bay, helped a little bit [with his time] because the wind was behind us,” he said.
“But that being said, we rode against a hectic wind when we went out on to the Elands River road.
“I was strong on the day and things just kind of went my way,” he added.
Shirley, 48, said he led for almost the whole race – for approximately 150km – after breaking away early on on a tar section.
“Everyone kind of stuck together there for about seven kilometres, but I saw the other guys were sitting a bit negative.
“I did not want to be involved with guys sitting on my tail the whole way, so that is when I pushed it and jumped off the front. No one responded to the attack and I basically rode about 150km on my own.”
He went through the King of the Mountain first and created a nine-minute gap on the Elands River road, Shirley said.
“I really had to dig deep to maintain that gap. It is much harder to try to stay away from a rider than to give chase.
“Being chased was not easy; it was stressful. But I managed to hold my lead and win. I was chuffed with the way it went,” Shirley said, as he beat the second-placed Jason Peach by just less than seven minutes.