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McLean, Cronje prove age is just a number

Stage 1 Top veterans Andrew McLean and Graham Cronje (Cycle Lab Toyota) proved that age is just a number when they claimed a dominant victory on Stage 1 of the 2008 MTN Panorama Tour road cycling tour in White River on Saturday.

McLean (43) and Cronje (42) used their superior climbing ability to drop their rivals and secure a huge 11-minute victory margin with a winning time of three hours, 11 minutes and 32 seconds. Second place went to the Cycle Lab Brothers team of David and Johan Labuschagne (03:22:37) with the Fullimput pair of Roan Exelby and Donovan Jackson rounding out the podium places in 3:22:39.

Stage 1 "As soon as we hit the first big climb we put some pressure on the bunch and got a small group away," explained McLean. "On the next descent the tandems pulled some riders back to us but we pushed the pace on the second climb and pulled clear of the others after about 35km."

McLean and Cronje, both accomplished time triallists, then set about increasing their lead over the remaining 80km. Their winning time was six minutes quicker than the winning time over the same circuit in 2007.

"I was hoping we'd get a decent gap over the rest, but didn’t expect the gap to be that big," said a surprised McLean. "Now we have less pressure, but will still be vigilant. When you race in teams of two, the chances of encountering a problem, physical or mechanical, are double!"

In the women’s category, the MTN 1 pair of Carla Rowley and Amoryn Saayman also claimed a dominant victory, clocking 04:05:48, more than four minutes ahead of their nearest rivals Lisa Vermaak and Liefie Day (Standard Bank), who clocked 04:11:06.

Stage 1Winning the stage in the Mixed Category was the Standard Bank Bring It On pair of Tijl van De Winkel and Joanna Hotchkiss, while Ernest Horn and Andre Potgieter (Team Filorga) claimed the top Masters prize for the stage in a respectable time of 03:52:46.

On Sunday, the stage distance is a shortish 82km, but with 1450m of vertical ascent, a muscle 'muncher' of note! The stage will start and finish in White River but will take the riders via Brondal, Nelspruit and the KMIA Airport.


2008 MTN Panorama Tour
White River, Mpumalanga
Stage 1: 117km – White River–Hazyview–Sabie–White River
Leading results
Overall

1 Cycle Lab Toyota – Andrew McLean / Graham Cronje 03hr11min32sec
2 Cycle Lab Brothers – David Labuschagne / Johan Labuschagne 03:22:37
3 Fullimput – Road Exelby / Donovan Jackson 03:22:39
4 Selati – Stanley Namanyana / Hermanus van der Westhuizen 03:25:39
5 TCS Smyters – Henning Jooste / Eben van Wyk 03:27:03

Open Men
1 Selati – Stanley Namanyana / Hermanus van der Westhuizen 03:25:39
2 TCS Smyters – Henning Jooste / Eben van Wyk 03:27:03
3 TCS Broken Like Barend – Pieter Henning / Barend Burger 03:29:05
4 Van Lill Broers – Innes van Lill / Niewoudt van Lill 03:29:07
5 Day Breakers – Dusty Day / Tyler Day 03:31:02

Open Women
1 MTN 1 – Carla Rowley / Amoryn Saayman 04:05:48
2 Standard Bank – Lisa Vermaak / Liefie Day 04:11:06
3 The Eco-Analysts – Karen Southgate / Adele Ambrose 04:27:47
4 Women of Wonder – Vanya Gerber / Marlen van Heerden 04:30:49
5 TCS Steel Magnolias – Denise Devine / Pauline Cound 04:53:31

Sub-Veteran Men
1 Cycle Lab Brothers – David Labuschagne / Johan Labuschagne 03:22:37
2 Fullimput – Road Exelby / Donovan Jackson 03:22:39
3 Daikin Gu 2 – David Garret / Chris Botha 03:27:09
4 Cycle Lab Supercycling – Danie Marais / Morne van Greuning 03:27:27
5 Daikin Gu – John O’Conner / Moolman Welgemoed 03:31:53

Veteran Men
1 Cycle Lab Toyota – Andrew McLean / Graham Cronje 03hr11min32sec
2 Toys R Us – Issy Zimmerman / John Carstens 03:37:33
3 Matrix – Graham Miller / Derek Nitch 03:44:24
4 Bluff Boys – Michael Andrews / Randy Walker 03:44:26
5 Bulk Pack Meat Cycle Lab – Mark Scriven / Hadley McCormick 03:52:28

Master Men
1 Filorga – Ernest Horn / Andre Potgieter 03:52:46
2 Mosselbaai Fietse 1 – Johnnie Koen / Greef Moolman 03:58:17
3 True Masters – Jonathan Swart / Egbert de Bruyn 03:59:43
4 High Tech Spinning – Bayne Slabbert / Jurgens Wagner 04:05:56
5 S & A – Fritz Eloff / Steve de Kock 04:22:38

Mixed
1 Standard Bank Bring It On – Tijl van De Winkel / Joanna Hotchkiss 03:36:44
2 C and C Steel – Dana Coetzee / Sanet Smal 03:47:01
3 Mokambo Team – Billy Stelling / Ann Harrison 03:56:01
4 Chicken Licken – Tristen Hahn / Michelle Harris 04:01:46
5 N & A Dominance – Niall Pickersgill / Annarie Rossouw 04:03:23