Cyclists saddle up for tight finish ahead of Time Trial to decide 2014 MTN Panorama Tour champions
The ever popular MTN Panorama Tour in the Mpumalanga province concluded Stage 3 on Monday, 28th April with Barend Kruger and Ian Pienaar (03:15’56”) maintaining their dominance on the race thanks to another first place finish which sees the duo hold on to the yellow leaders jersey and stay in first place on the general classification (08:39’25”).
They had to work hard on Day 3 of what has been the hardest stage of the four-day cycle race yet, which saw the two riders face tough climbing and fast descents in Sabie, Nelspruit, to fend off the challenge from the Sub Veteran pair of Franco Ferreira and Jacque Fullard. The stage 3 runners-up came in after 03:19’56 and are now fourth overall going into the Time Trials on the last day of the 9th edition of the MTN-sponsored race on Tuesday. Stage 1 and 2 runners-up Stephan Reyneke and Wesley Elslick, kept their noses in front, closely following the leading bunch to come in third place (03:20’15”).
The win by the Demacon-Europcar pair, Kruger and Pienaar, sees them in firm control of the race and favourites to clinch the 2014 title.
There was to be no stopping the great form displayed by Yolandi du Toit and Dalene van der Leek in the Women’s section when they finished first after the 113km-long Stage 3 to secure their third podium finish in three successive days. An-li Kachelhoffer and Anli Smith settled for 2nd place (02:35’18”) in the Women’s section.
John Wakefield and Anriette Schoeman continued their good form winning the Mixed section in a time of 03:20’20”.
On Tuesday 29th April, there are less twists and turns expected in the Time Trial this year and despite the longer distance, it should be fast and a great way to end the Tour. Teams will leave in descending order (Unofficial to Slowest to Fastest) and at 30” intervals for the 36km Time Trial.
The route will see the riders go through the White River suburbs, Impala Street and onto the Sabie Road, with the first real test of the legs at Jacaranda Hill which is 10km into the race. The final climb is up past the turn off to Witklip Dam.
The Time Trial will start and finish at Casterbridge.
MTN Panorama Tour – Stage 3 and General Classification
1. Barend Kruger and Ian Pienaar – Stage 3: 03:15:56 / GC: 08:39:25
2. Stephan Reyneke and Wesley Eslick – Stage 3: 03:20:15 / GC: 08:45:05
3. Alan Gordon and Adolph Krige – Stage 3: 03:15:56 / GC: 08:46:14
1. Yolandi du Toit and Dalene van Der Leek – Stage 3: 03:35:07 / GC: 09:22:27
2. An-li Kachelhoffer and Anli Smith – Stage 3: 03:35:18 / GC: 09:29:43
3. Andrea Steyn and Marlene Mathey – Stage 3: 03:42:41 / GC: 10:03:51
1. John Wakefield and Anriette Schoeman – Stage 3: 03:20:20 / GC: 08:59:43
2. Grant Edmiston and Greer Wynn – Stage 3: 03:30:02 / GC: 09:09:31
3. David Garrett and Susan Garrett – Stage 3: 03:30:50 / GC: 09:18:11
1. Franco Ferreira and Trevor Davies – Stage 3: 03:15:56 / GC: 08:45:07
2. Neil Bolton and Alex Pavlov – Stage 3: 03:30:19 / GC: 08:49:38