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Short, Sharp stage sees lead change at MTN Panorama Tour

The 2009 MTN Panorama Cycle Tour entered its second day on Sunday with a relatively short Stage 2. But while there was a shortage of distance in the 80km leg which started and finished in White River, there was no shortage of intensity as the TCS Cough Syrup team of Brand du Plessis and Alwyn Scheepers, secured the stage victory and took over the race lead.

The first 60km of the stage was predominantly downhill, with the final 20km a steady haul all the way back to White River, via Nelspruit.

“The pace was obviously very fast for the first 60 kays and it was a matter of staying safe and vigilant,” explained Du Plessis, who is the current South African Duathlon Champion. “Once we hit Nelspruit the climbing started and that’s really where it became intense. There were some attacks and we closed a few gaps, but it was on the last two climbs that we began to take some control.”

On the penultimate climb Du Plessis and Scheepers increased the pace in an effort to shake off weaker teams from the lead pack. They succeeded to some extent, but with increased depth in the field this year, there was still a relatively large front group as the race approached the final climb to the finish.

“I attacked at the bottom of the climb and first Moolman (Welgemoed) tried to bridge to me and then Jacques (Fullard). Brand then rode across to me and we’d managed to split things up a bit by the summit,” explained Scheepers, a former road racing professional.

Du Plessis crossed the finish line first, followed closely by David Garrett (Daikin Gu) and Fullard (Blackrock 1). Scheepers finished fourth, and since times and positions are taken on the second rider, he secured the stage win for himself and Du Plessis in a time of 2 hours 4 minutes and 35 seconds.

Second place on the stage went to the TCS GWM team of Pieter Henning and Jaco Ferreira, who were just two seconds back. Their combined overall time after the stage was identical to that of TCS (Team Computer Smith) stablemates, Scheepers and Du Plessis. However, because of their stage win on Sunday, the latter earned the right to wear the yellow leaders’ jerseys.

Daikin Gu will rue the damage the final climb did to them on Sunday, splitting Garrett and Welgemoed and allowing important seconds to tick by before they were considered stage finishers. The Capetonians lost the race lead and now lie in third place overall, nine seconds down. They do, however, have the consolation of retaining their lead in the Sub-veteran category.

The Cycle Lab Brothers team of Johan and David Labuschagne finished seventh on Sunday’s stage, but moved up two places in the General Classification to fourth. Andrew McLean and Bruce Diesel (Cycle Lab Supercycling 1) were home ninth on Sunday, but the first Veterans. They now lead that category by more than four minutes and hold fifth place overall.

In the women’s category, the two MTN Energade BMI Activeworx teams finished first and second. Yolande Speedy and Vanye Gerber captured the stage win 2:16:21, just over three minutes ahead of their stablemates and Stage 1 winners, Larissa Kleinmann and Lisa Vermaak (2:20:05). Third place went to the MTN Club 100 Girl Power team of Kobie-Marie Hamman and Lylanie Lauwrens (2:20:06).

Kleinmann and Vermaak retained their overall lead and will go into Stage 3 with more than a seven-minute cushion over Hamman and Lauwrens.

Graham Cronje and An-Li Pretorius of the Liz-An-Lee Auto team captured a second successive stage win and extended their Mixed category lead to more than two minutes the Northcliff Cycles Bring It On team of Joanna and Tijl van der Winkel.

Johan Spies and Paul Furbank snapped up their second consecutive stage win in the Master division, while the father-son team of Jurie and Adolf Krige (Young and Vris) claimed a second stage win to extend their lead in the Tandem category.

Monday’s Stage 3 is regarded as the Queen stage of the event. With more than 2000 metres of climbing in the 113km leg, including a section of the brutal Long Tom Pass, another shake up is expected in the overall standings with the strong-climbing teams expected to shine.

“There are 10 strong teams that are still in contention to win this tour so we’ll do our best to hold onto or even extend our lead,” said Du Plessis. “It’s going to be a killer stage for certain!”


Leading results
Stage 2: 80km
Overall

1 TCS Cough Syrup – Brand du Plessis / Alwyn Scheepers 2:04:35
2 TCS GWM – Jaco Ferreira / Pieter Henning 2:04:37
3 Daikin Gu – David Garrett / Moolman Welgemoed 2:04:44
4 Blackrock 1 – Jacques Fullard / Blaine Wickner 2:04:49
5 Motlosana Kwart Voor Vyf – Tyler Day / JC Jooste 2:04:53
6 Slow and Furious – Niewoudt van Lill / Gert Janse van Rensburg 2:04:56
7 Cycle Lab Brothers – David Labuschagne / Johan Labuschagne 2:04:56
8 Northcliff Cycles – Alex Pavlov / Henry Uys 2:04:58
9 Cycle Lab Supercycling 1 – Bruce Diesel / Andrew McLean 2:05:01
10 Mecer NMMU – Jade Muller and Conrad Viljoen 2:05:02

Women
1 MTN Energade BMI Activeworx – Yolande Speedy / Vanya Gerber 2:16:21
2 MTN Energade BMI Activeworx – Larissa Kleinmann / Lisa Vermaak 2:20:05
3 MTN Club 100 Girl Power – Kobie-Marie Hamman / Lylanie Lauwrens 2:20:06

Mixed
1 Liz-An-Lee Auto – Graham Cronje / An-Li Pretorius 2:05:11
2 Northcliff Cycles Bring It On – Joanna van der Winkel / Tijl van der Winkel 2:05:13
3 Comobike – Benedikt Schneider / Sarah Wielopolska 2:13:03

Open Men

1 TCS Cough Syrup – Brand du Plessis / Alwyn Scheepers 2:04:35
2 TCS GWM – Jaco Ferreira / Pieter Henning 2:04:37
5 Motlosana Kwart Voor Vyf – Tyler Day / JC Jooste 2:04:53

Sub-veteran Men (30-39 years)
1 Daikin Gu – David Garrett / Moolman Welgemoed 2:04:44
2 Blackrock 1 – Jacques Fullard / Blaine Wickner 2:04:49
3 Cycle Lab Brothers – David Labuschagne / Johan Labuschagne 2:04:56

Veteran Men (40-49 years)
1 Cycle Lab Supercycling 1 – Bruce Diesel / Andrew McLean 2:05:01
2 Cycle Lab Supercycling Cape Town – Adrian Einthoven / Gary Marescia 2:05:16
3 B.O.S.S Logistics Super Vets – Keith Litten / Stanley Rourke 2:05:20

Master Men (50-years-plus)
1 Cycle Lab Masters – Paul Furbank / Johan Spies 2:05:23
2 Cycle Lab Supercycling – Chris Rossouw / Joe Visser 2:13:11
3 Lion Sands 3 – Siegfried Hamman / Jonathan Swart 2:16:03

Tandem
1 Young and Vris – Jurie Krige / Adolf Krige 2:05:44
2 Breakthru – Allistair Scott / Damian Murphy 2:12:32
3 Contract Germiston Wheelers – Simon Davenall / Dean Puntis 2:16:46


General Classification after Stage 2
Overall

1 TCS Cough Syrup – Brand du Plessis / Alwyn Scheepers 5:24:27
2 TCS GWM – Jaco Ferreira / Pieter Henning 5:24:27
3 Daikin Gu – David Garrett / Moolman Welgemoed 5:24:32
4 Cycle Lab Brothers – David Labuschagne / Johan Labuschagne 5:24:50
5 Cycle Lab Supercycling 1 – Bruce Diesel / Andrew McLean 5:24:51
6 Mecer NMMU – Jade Muller and Conrad Viljoen 5:24:58
7 Blackrock 1 – Jacques Fullard / Blaine Wickner 5:26:11
8 Slow and Furious – Niewoudt van Lill / Gert Janse van Rensburg 5:26:19
9 Northcliff Cycles – Alex Pavlov / Henry Uys 5:26:25
10 Cycle Lab Open PC’s – Pieter Calitz / Paulo Contente 5:26:36

Women
1 MTN Energade BMI Activeworx – Larissa Kleinmann / Lisa Vermaak 6:06:32
2 MTN Club 100 Girl Power – Kobie Marie-Hamman, Lylanie Lauwrens 6:14:14
3 MTN Energade BMI Activeworx – Yolande Speedy / Vanya Gerber 6:22:30

Mixed
1 Liz-An-Lee Auto – Graham Cronje / An-Li Pretorius 5:32:23
2 Northcliff Cycles Bring It On – Joanna van der Winkel / Tijl van der Winkel 5:34:30
3 Voltex –Pierre Veldtmann / Jade Roberts 5:42:35

Open Men
1 TCS Cough Syrup – Brand du Plessis / Alwyn Scheepers 5:24:27
2 TCS GWM – Jaco Ferreira / Pieter Henning 5:24:27
3 Mecer NMMU – Jade Muller and Conrad Viljoen 5:24:58

Sub-veteran Men (30-39 years)
1 Daikin Gu – David Garrett / Moolman Welgemoed 5:24:32
2 Cycle Lab Brothers – David Labuschagne / Johan Labuschagne 5:24:50
3 Blackrock 1 – Jacques Fullard / Blaine Wickner 5:26:11

Veteran Men (40-49 years)
1 Cycle Lab Supercycling 1 – Bruce Diesel / Andrew McLean 5:24:51
2 Cycle Lab Supercycling Cape Town – Adrian Einthoven / Gary Marescia 5:31:23
3 B.O.S.S Logistics Super Vets – Keith Litten / Stanley Rourke 5:32:28

Master Men (50-years-plus)
1 Cycle Lab Masters – Paul Furbank / Johan Spies 5:34:38
2 Cycle Lab Supercycling – Chris Rossouw / Joe Visser 5:48:13
3 Lion Sands 3 – Siegfried Hamman / Jonathan Swart 6:05:23

Tandem
1 Young and Vris – Jurie Krige / Adolf Krige 5:34:31
2 Breakthru – Allistair Scott / Damian Murphy 5:56:41
3 Adidas – Martin Buck / Bronwynne Swanepoel 6:11:35