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Top tandems shake up the MTN Panorama Tour

Stage 3 Two top tandem pairs gave the MTN Panorama Tour a shake-up during the 120km Stage 3 on Monday, but they were unable to upstage race leaders Andrew McLean and Graham Cronje (Cycle Lab Toyota) who went on to win their third stage and extend their overall lead going into the final leg on Tuesday.

The demanding 120km stage that started and finished in White River and which took in the feared ascents of Spitkop, Long Tom Pass and Brondal, wasn’t meant to suit tandems. But the Standard Bank pair of Ian Martin and Chris Frankiskos and the TCS Magical duo of Jaco Ferreira and An-Li Pretorius weren’t letting ‘meant to’ get in the way of a good dice.

Tandem pairs are not known to be able to climb as well as riders on single bikes due to the increased weight of the bike combined with that of the two riders. But two strong climbers with a good power-to-weight ratio can usually bust that tandem myth. The key on Sunday was the long descents after the climbs, which gave a generous gravitational advantage to the tandem pairs, both of whom finished in the top four places.

“It wasn’t an easy day at all today,” said Cronje. “We’d get away from the others on the climbs, but the tandems would bring them back to us on the downhills.”

In standard road races tandems are not permitted to interfere with the single bike races but the MTN Panorama Tour has no such limitations and as a result, the tandems usually add some ‘spice’ to the standard racing fare.

Stage 3 “The tandems were reaching up to 100kph on some descents. And if a team of single riders got in a tandem slipstream they’d have a sizeable lead within seconds. We really had to be vigilant today to make sure nobody got away from us,” added Cronje.

McLean and Cronje tried repeatedly to move clear of their rivals on the early climbs, but were ultimately forced to play all their cards on the final haul into White River where they managed to get a gap and build a small lead as they crossed the finish line in 03hr13min19sec. They extended their overall lead by two minutes and increased their lead in the Veteran Men’s race in the process.

The Standard Bank tandem of Martin and Frankiskos secured second place on the stage, just under two minutes behind McLean and Cronje, with the Cycle Lab Brothers duo of Johan and David Labuschagne taking third place overall and first Sub-Veterans. The TCS Magical tandem pair of Ferreira and Pretorius collected fourth place, but maintained their lead in the Tandem division and edged up to third in the General Classification.

“The vibe at this event is so unique. And the fact that the tandems can mix it up with the others changes the dynamics of the racing and makes it really interesting,” explained Martin.

Amoryn Saayman and Carla Rowley continued their dominance in the women’s race, winning their third stage and adding another 10 minutes to their lead with just one stage remaining.

The others stage winners on Monday were the TCS Broken Like Barend duo of Barend Burger and Pieter Henning (Open Men), the Standard Bank Bring It On pair of Tijl van De Winkel and Joanna Hotchkiss (Mixed), and the Filorga team of Ernest Horn and Andre Potgieter (Master Men).

Tuesday’s final stage is a 20km time trial, which may be short, but with 376 metres of ascent, is by no means easy, especially when tackled with weary legs following three demanding stages.

The closest contest for a final category win will be fought out by TCS Broken Like Barend’s Burger and Henning, who will be defending a 76-second lead over the TCS Smyters pair of Henning Jooste and Eben van Wyk.


2008 MTN Panorama Tour
White River, Mpumalanga
Stage 3: 120km – White River–Sabie–Long Tom Pass– Brondal–White River
Leading results
Overall

1 Cycle Lab Toyota – Andrew McLean / Graham Cronje 03hr13min09sec
2 Standard Bank Tandem – Ian Martin / Chris Frankiskos 03:15:04
3 Cycle Lab Brothers – David Labuschagne / Johan Labuschagne 03:15:06
4 TCS Magical Tandem – Jaco Ferreira / An-Li Pretorius 03:15:53
5 TCS Broken Like Barend – Pieter Henning / Barend Burger 03:17:15

Open Men
1 TCS Broken Like Barend – Pieter Henning / Barend Burger 03:17:15
2 TCS Sprinters – Petri Strydom / Adolf Krige 03:19:30
3 TCS Smyters – Henning Jooste / Eben van Wyk 03:20:59
4 Van Lill Broers – Innes van Lill / Nieuwoudt van Lill 03:22:31
5 Selati – Stanley Namanyana / Hermanus van der Westhuizen 03:31:48

Open Women
1 MTN 1 – Carla Rowley / Amoryn Saayman 03:52:56
2 Standard Bank – Lisa Vermaak / Liefie Day 04:03:47
3 The Eco-Analysts – Karen Southgate / Adele Ambrose 04:16:11
4 TCS Steel Magnolias – Denise Devine / Pauline Cound 04:19:23
5 Women of Wonder – Vanya Gerber / Marlene van Heerden 04:19:41

Sub-Veteran Men
1 Cycle Lab Brothers – David Labuschagne / Johan Labuschagne 03:15:06
2 Fullimput – Road Exelby / Donovan Jackson 03:18:40
3 Daikin Gu – John O’Conner / Moolman Welgemoed 03:24:32
4 Daikin Gu 2 – David Garret / Chris Botha 03:25:55
5 TCS Road Runners – Brand du Plessis / Coenie Nel 03:26:09

Veteran Men
1 Cycle Lab Toyota – Andrew McLean / Graham Cronje 03:13:09
2 Toys R Us – Issy Zimmerman / John Carstens 03:27:14
3 Bulk Pack Meat Cycle Lab – Mark Scriven / Hadley McCormick 03:36:29
4 Matrix – Graham Miller / Derek Nitch 03:36:33
5 PB Team – Kevin Prinsloo / Peter Browne 03:37:00

Master Men
1 Filorga – Ernest Horn / Andre Potgieter 03:39:54
2 High Tech Spinning – Bayne Slabbert / Jurgens Wagner 03:40:23
3 Toti – Karl Potgieter / Gerrie van Biljon 03:43:27
4 Mosselbaai Fietse 1 – Johnnie Koen / Greef Moolman 03:56:04
5 True Masters – Jonathan Swart / Egbert de Bruyn 03:56:15

Mixed
1 Standard Bank Bring It On – Tijl van De Winkel / Joanna Hotchkiss 03:31:49
2 N & A Dominance – Niall Pickersgill / Annarie Rossouw 03:40:07
3 Mokambo Team – Billy Stelling / Ann Harrison 03:40:36
4 Catch Me If U Can – Benedikt Schneider / Sarah Wielopolska 03:48:23
5 Chicken Licken – Tristan Hahn / Michelle Harris 03:49:44

Tandem
1 Standard Bank – Ian Martin / Chris Frankiskos 03:15:04
2 TCS Magical – Jaco Ferreira / An-Li Pretorius 03:15:53
3 Contract/Germiston Wheelers – Simon Davenall / Dean Puntis 03:42:37
4 Pag – Christie Cronje / Jaco Cronje 03:59:44
5 Mitek – Stephen Dixon / Andrew Dixon 04:14:53


2008 MTN Panorama Tour
General Classification after Stage 3
Overall

1 Cycle Lab Toyota – Andrew McLean / Graham Cronje 08hr28min12sec
2 Cycle Lab Brothers – David Labuschagne / Johan Labuschagne 08:41:48
3 TCS Magical – Jaco Ferreira / An-Li Pretorius 08:43:11
4 Fullimput – Roan Exelby / Donovan Jackson 08:45:25
5 Standard Bank Tandem – Ian Martin / Chris Frankiskos 08:49:10

Open Men
1 TCS Broken Like Barend – Pieter Henning / Barend Burger 08:50:24
2 TCS Smyters – Henning Jooste / Eben van Wyk 08:52:40
3 Van Lill Broers – Innes van Lill / Niewoudt van Lill 09:03:36
4 TCS Sprinters – Petri Strydom / Adolf Krige 09:03:47
5 Selati – Stanley Namanyana / Hermanus van der Westhuizen 09:03:48

Open Women
1 MTN 1 – Carla Rowley / Amoryn Saayman 10:23:49
2 Standard Bank – Lisa Vermaak / Liefie Day 10:54:55
3 Women of Wonder – Vanya Gerber / Marlene van Heerden 11:34:19
4 The Eco-Analysts – Karen Southgate / Adele Ambrose 11:39:08
5 TCS Steel Magnolias – Denise Devine / Pauline Cound 12:22:12

Sub-Veteran Men
1 Cycle Lab Brothers – David Labuschagne / Johan Labuschagne 08:41:48
2 Fullimput – Road Exelby / Donovan Jackson 08:45:25
3 Daikin Gu 2 – David Garret / Chris Botha 08:58:54
4 Cycle Lab Supercycling – Danie Marais / Morne van Greuning 09:05:24
5 Cycle Lab IMC – Paul Cordes / Jason Ward 09:13:57

Veteran Men
1 Cycle Lab Toyota – Andrew McLean / Graham Cronje 08:28:12
2 Toys R Us – Issy Zimmerman / John Carstens 09:13:18
3 Matrix – Graham Miller / Derek Nitch 09:38:39
4 Bulk Pack Meat Cycle Lab – Mark Scriven / Hadley McCormick 09:41:40
5 Bluff Boys – Michael Andrews / Randy Walker 09:42:33

Master Men
1 Filorga – Ernest Horn / Andre Potgieter 09:51:05
2 High Tech Spinning – Bayne Slabbert / Jurgens Wagner 10:04:38
3 Mosselbaai Fietse 1 – Johnnie Koen / Greef Moolman 10:13:38
4 True Masters – Jonathan Swart / Egbert de Bruyn 10:25:06
5 Toti – Karl Potgieter / Gerrie van Biljon 10:39:12

Mixed
1 Standard Bank Bring It On – Tijl van De Winkel / Joanna Hotchkiss 09:21:00
2 Mokambo Team – Billy Stelling / Ann Harrison 10:00:32
3 C and C Steel – Dana Coetzee / Sanet Smal 10:03:38
4 N & A Dominance – Niall Pickersgill / Annarie Rossouw 10:07:03
5 Illovo Cycling Group – Julius Corbett / Mina Radoycheva 10:32:49

Tandem
1 TCS Magical – Jaco Ferreira / An-Li Pretorius 08:43:11
2 Standard Bank – Ian Martin / Chris Frankiskos 08:49:10
3 Contract/Germiston Wheelers – Simon Davenall / Dean Puntis 09:51:41
4 Pag – Christie Cronje / Jaco Cronje 10:34:37
5 Mitek – Stephen Dixon / Andrew Dixon 11:25:07