Van Heerden was joined in the team by former BCX teammates Nolan Hoffman and David Maree, as well as Tristan Cuthbert, Sias Joubert, Henry Neethling and Jandre Storm.
The team, which gained Continental status last year, had been somewhat unsettled before the Fast One which might have led indirectly to them missing out on the Mpumalanga Tour earlier this month, Van Heerden said
Now that the dust had settled, the 25-year-old was relieved to get the season off to a winning start with the new-look outfit.
“It was important for me and the team to start off the first classic on a good note,” Van Heerden told In the Bunch today.
“Before the Fast One we were a bit all over the show within the team. Now we have everything sorted and we’re ready for the year.”
The race, deemed one of the fastest in the country, is usually expected to culminate in a bunch-sprint finish.
Van Heerden and the team expected the race to play out in one of two ways: either the field would start to split in the gutter winds halfway in or moves might be launched near the beginning.
“It started really fast. There were many attacks before a small group rode hard to get off the front,” Van Heerden said.
“I saw the danger in that and I rode over to them.”
Van Heerden said it looked as though the bunch were content to let the escapees get further ahead.
“They were quite happy with the numbers in the front and who they had represented.
“They sat up a bit and we got a gap quite quickly.”
Their lead fluctuated between 50 seconds and two-and-a-half minutes throughout the route depending on the winds, Van Heerden recalled.
“The pressure was on us to keep the cohesion, stay together and stay away. Luckily it worked out.”
The bunch began to disintegrate as a chasing group of about 16 riders came in pursuit of the breakaway in the last five kilometres.
Van Heerden said Hoffman was among them, which alleviated some of the pressure on him at the head of affairs.
“The other guys were forced to do more work after needing to stay away the whole day.
“Then on the final drag with about 2km left a few attacks occurred. Kent [Main] went quite hard in the gutter.”
He added that Main and Louis Visser, both of TEG Procycling, had to keep pushing hard due to three OfficeGuru riders giving chase.
“That played into my hands perfectly. I just waited for the right opportunity to go.
“Then as the front guys sat up, the back guys caught us. Dylan [Girdlestone of OfficeGuru] tried to help his teammate [Travis Barrett] win the race and I rode off of that.”
As a result Barrett got pipped into second, with Visser taking third and Girdlestone fourth.
His next focus would be the national road champs in Pretoria from February 7 to 10, an event he said would not particularly suit him.