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Western Cape pair win stage 1

The top Western Cape pairing of David Garrett and Moolman Welgemoed (Daikin Gu) outsprinted a relatively large lead pack to claim the first stage and the overall lead on Day 1 of the 2009 MTN Panorama Cycle Tour in White River, Mpumalanga on Saturday.

Although top professional Hanco Kachelhoffer of the BH Medscheme team pipped Welgemoed to the finish line, the team-format of the tour determines finishing position and time taken on each team's second rider across the line. Garrett made sure he was close behind to snap up the stage win for the Cape Town pair, who also secured the lead in the Sub-veteran category.

Second place when to Kachelhoffer and Mike Hewan (BH Medscheme) with the Team TCS GSM pair of Jaco Ferreira and Pieter Henning rounding out the top three positions after a hotly contested seven-team dash for the line.

The 115km stage, which started and finished in White River, took the 250 two-rider teams on a scenic, yet hilly route via Hazyview and Sabie.

An early breakaway comprising the father and son tandem pair of Jurie and Adolf Krige (Team Young and Vris) was joined by the eager Kachelhoffer and Hewan. But once the race hit the first major climb to Spitskop, just after 70km, the breakaway was reeled in as the contenders began to show themselves at the sharp end of the field.

The steady 15km climb splintered the race up somewhat with the lead pack down to seven teams for the final stretch, comprising Daikin Gu, BH Medscheme, TCS GWM, TCS Cough Syrup (Brand du Plessis and Alwyn Scheepers), Cycle Lab Brothers (Johan and David Labuschagne), Cycle Lab Supercycling 1 (Bruce Diesel and Andrew McLean) and Mecer NMMU (Jade Muller and Conrad Viljoen).

"The real action only really started on the big climb to Sabie. Up until then, it seemed like everyone was just checking each other out, unsure of who was strong and who wasn't. But the climb sorted that out," explained Welgemoed, who was content with his team's win.

"It's great to get an early win, but what's even better is that there are seven teams in contention. This race is growing in depth each year and it's by no means clear yet which is the strongest team. Also, the team format is unique and makes the racing interesting. If one of you has a bad day, the race could be lost. And with no back-up service support, a mechanical problem could also be disastrous."

In the women's race German professional, Larissa Kleinmann and Lisa Vermaak (MTN Energade BMI Activeworx) clocked a quick 3:46:26 to take a comfortable win over the MTN Club 100 Girl Power pair of Kobie Marie-Hamman and Lylanie Lauwrens (3:54:08). The MTN Club 100 Entelectuals team of Helen Squirrel and Cashandra Slingerland (4:03:21) were a distant third.

McLean and Diesel (Cycle Lab Supercycling 1) secured the Veteran category stage win, while Paul Furbank and Johan Spies (Cycle Lab Masters) took the Master's victory. The Mixed category winners were the Liz-An-Lee Auto pair of Graham Cronje and An-Li Pretorius, while Adolph and Jurie Krige claimed the top tandem prize.

Sunday's Stage 2 is a shortish 80km stage starting and finishing in White River and passing Brondal, Neslpruit and KMIA Airport. The bulk of the 1192m of climbing comes in the final 30km. The four-stage event finishes on Tuesday.

"Tomorrow's stage is short, but it will be hard. Short stages are always very intense and we'll need to be vigilant and hopefully both be on top form in order to be able to defend our lead", smiled Welgemoed.

Leading results
Stage 1: 115km
Overall

1 Daikin Gu – David Garrett / Moolman Welgemoed 3hr19min48sec
2 BH Medscheme – Mike Hewan / Hanco Kachelhoffer 3:19:49
3 TCS GWM – Jaco Ferreira / Pieter Henning 3:19:50
4 Cycle Lab Supercycling 1 – Bruce Diesel / Andrew McLean 3:19:50
5 TCS Cough Syrup – Brand du Plessis / Alwyn Scheepers 3:19:52
6 Cycle Lab Brothers – David Labuschagne / Johan Labuschagne 3:19:54
7 Mecer NMMU – Jade Muller and Conrad Viljoen 3:19:56
8 Matlosana 1 – Dusty Day / Egon Campbell 3:21:14
9 Blackrock 1 – Jacques Fullard / Blaine Wickner 3:21:23
10 Slow and Furious – Niewoudt van Lill / Gert Janse van Rensburg 3:21:23

Women
1 MTN Energade BMI Activeworx – Larissa Kleinmann / Lisa Vermaak 3:46:26
2 MTN Club 100 Girl Power – Kobie Marie-Hamman, Lylanie Lauwrens 3:54:08
3 MTN Club 100 Entelectuals – Helen Squirrel / Cashandra Slingerland 4:03:21

Mixed

1 Liz-An-Lee Auto – Graham Cronje / An-Li Pretorius 3:27:12
2 Northcliff Cycles Bring It On – Joanna van der Winkel / Tijl van der Winkel 3:29:17
3 Voltex – Pierre Veldtmann / Jade Roberts 3:29:30

Open Men
1 BH Medscheme – Mike Hewan / Hanco Kachelhoffer 3:19:49
2 TCS GWM – Jaco Ferreira / Pieter Henning 3:19:50
3 TCS Cough Syrup – Brand du Plessis / Alwyn Scheepers 3:19:52

Sub-veteran Men (30-39 years)
1 Daikin Gu – David Garrett / Moolman Welgemoed 3hr19min48sec
2 Cycle Lab Brothers – David Labuschagne / Johan Labuschagne 3:19:54
3 Blackrock 1 – Jacques Fullard / Blaine Wickner 3:21:23

Veteran Men (40-49 years)
1 Cycle Lab Supercycling 1 – Bruce Diesel / Andrew McLean 3:19:50
2 Cycle Lab Supercycling Cape – Adrian Einthoven / Gary Marescia 3:26:07
3 B.O.S.S Logistics Super Vets – Keith Litten / Stanley Rourke 3:27:08

Master Men (50-years-plus)
1 Cycle Lab Masters – Paul Furbank / Johan Spies 3:29:15
2 Cycle Lab Supercycling – Chris Rossouw / Joe Visser 3:35:02
3 Lion Sands 3 – Siegfried Hamman / Jonathan Swart 3:49:20

Tandem
1 Young and Vris – Jurie Krige / Adolf Krige 3:28:47
2 Breakthru – Allistair Scott / Damian Murphy 3:44:09
3 Adidas – Martin Buck / Bronwynne Swanepoel 3:50:54