RoadCover’s Brendon Davids took the overall lead at the Jock Classic after he finished second in the 154km stage, which finished in Mbombela, Mpumalanga, today.
Myles van Musschenbroek, Julius’ teammate completed the podium and lies third overall.
Julius was part of a four-man group – alongside teammate Gustav Basson, RoadCover’s Bradley Potgieter and Rand Water’s Thulasizwe Mxenge – who split from the peloton 20km after the start at the Mbombela Stadium.
“It was a big gamble because it was so early, considering I was so high in the general classification, said Julius, who placed fourth after yesterday’s 27km uphill time-trial to Kaapsehoop.
Mxenge fell behind before the group reached the base of the first of the day’s two major climbs, Spitskop, which topped out 78km into the 154km stage.
Basson slowly lost touch with Julius and Potgieter on the ascent, but the leaders waited for him as they crested the climb and together they continued on to Long Tom Pass.
“Gustav rode himself inside out and was able to take me to Long Tom,” said Julius. “From there I rode with Brad, but I dropped him on the climb with maybe 45km to go.”
With the overall victory within his grasp, Julius said his aim on tomorrow’s final stage over 138km would be to put in a serious bid for the title.
“My goal tomorrow is to try and go for yellow, that’s a definite. Now that I’m in the position to go for it, I’ll really go for it.
“I’m quite nervous because I know Brendon and I are so close. It’s going to be a big fight to the end.”
Demacon’s Carla Oberholzer won the women’s race after she too soloed to victory.
After winning the opening day individual time-trial, Du Toit crossed the line in second to drop down one position in the standings. Team Bestmed-ASG’s Sanet Coetzee, who won the Jock Classic recently, was third to finish.
“Tomorrow we’ll just take it one kilometre at a time and see how the racing plays out,” said Oberholzer.