The 10th edition of the MTN Panorama Tour started at Casterbridge, in White River just outside Nelspruit on Saturday afternoon. The annual 4-day road cycling stage race in April, which has become an integral date on the domestic cycling calendar for amateur racing since its inception in 2006, saw riders battle it out over 107km on Stage One on Saturday and 80km in Sunday’s Stage Two.
The opening day saw the formidable pair of Alan Gordon and Barend Burger dominate the 107km-long stage until the finish, which saw the riders pass the Sudwala Caves as they turned on the climbing legs during a tough stage on Saturday. Their winning time was 03:03:37.
On Stage Two of racing in the picturesque Lowveld on Sunday morning, the Sub Vet pairing of Jaco Ferreira and Samuel de Swardt fought off the youngsters to win the second stage in a time of 02:04:20. Thanks to their consistent riding over the opening two days, Gordon and Burger now hold a slender lead in the general classification standings.
In the Open Women’s category of Stage Two, described as quick and painful, the pair of Desray Sebregts and Annette Loubser from Team DESNET were the first women to cross the finish line for the second day in succession in a time of 02:19:11.
Stephan Oberholzer and Carla Oberholzer representing Team Clover, clocked in a time of 02:08:07 in the Mixed section, while in the Sub Veteran category, Samuel de Swardt and Jaco Ferriera of Team Columbia Energas finished in a time of 02:04:20
Stefano Madies and Tinus Scheepers from Team Dimension Data finished in 02:06:10 in the Veterans category, while Team Lawson Brothers, which consists of Gavin Lawson and Glenn Lawson, completed their Stage Two in 02:10:47 in the Masters category.
Grand Masters top finishers on the day were again the sharp pair of Johan Spies and Pierre van Hell for Team Cyclomaniacs in 02:18:48, while Tandem category finishers Jay Spendley and Werner Roux of Team Lastborn & Mistake finished in 02:09:18.
The 113km-long Stage Three on Freedom Day, Monday 27th April 2015, will see the riders facing a long day in the saddle with some tough climbing, especially up Long Tom Pass.
The race starts and finishes at Casterbridge in White River.