Kent Main won his maiden title in the Takealot East Rand Classic cycling road race in Kempton Park in Johannesburg today as he soloed his way to victory.
The 23-year-old ProTouch rider created a gap on a breakaway group with about 15km to go in the 98km feature race (formerly the Emperors Palace Classic) and held on for the win.
He crossed the line in a time of 2:23:01, just more than two minutes ahead of teammate Rocco King and Cycle Power’s James Barnes.
Main, from Linden in Johannesburg, was competing in the event after suffering a viral infection.
“Physically I’m feeling fine and that’s great because this was my first week back cycling after an illness,” he said.
“This was the best I have felt all week and it’s really good to get a win under the belt.”
Although he is known for his climbing prowess and had said this sort of route didn’t really suit him, Main added that there was not much sign of aggressive riding from his rivals.
“The main break of the day of about 11 riders came after about 20km, but there weren’t any real tactics going on, with almost a negative pace within the group.
“I eventually got away with James Barnes and we were working quite well together.”
But the breakaway group closed the gap on the pair before Main put in another surge.
“At that stage I managed to get a small gap and as soon as I saw that I put my head down and it was a solo effort to the finish.”
The 35-year-old Coetzee, from Faerie Glen in Pretoria, was delighted with her top podium finish after playing second fiddle to Demacon in a number of races over the past 15 months.
“It seems that I have been stuck in a ‘Demacon sandwich’, last year and this year,” laughed Coetzee, “so I was extremely happy to win this one.”
After finishing in 2:37:44, she said none of the attacks in the first half of the race amounted to anything.
“Then, just past the 50km mark, Heidi and Kim launched a serious attack and I got onto their wheels.”
On the final incline, Coetzee put in an attack of her own and managed to shake off Le Court.
“Heidi stayed with me and I was ready to take her on in a sprint finish, so I went hard for the last 5km.
“I know the race timing had Heidi a minute behind me, but it was a sprint all the way to the finish and I just managed to stay ahead.”
On Saturday Jean du Plessis won the men’s 50km mountain-bike race in 1:45, while Ruan Greeff took the 25km event in 53:56.
The women’s 50km title went to Tanielle Hermanson in 2:10:56 and the 25km version was won by Marlene van Heerden in 1:14:00.