Defending champion Stefan de Bod continued to show his skills against the clock by becoming the overall leader after the second stage of the Bestmed Tour of Good Hope road cycle race at Boland Agricultural High School just outside Paarl today.
The 20-year-old Dimension Data rider, a recent winner of the national and Africa continental U23 titles, demonstrated his ability to win the Buffet Olives individual time-trial in 33:15 to erase an overnight deficit of 54 seconds.
RoadCover’s Willie Smit (33:59) and Dimension Data’s Nicholas Dlamini (34:43) filled the remaining positions on the podium.
De Bod, with a provisional overall time of 2:55:08, will take a narrow lead into the third stage of the five-day, 490km race, which is presented by the City of Drakenstein and Scicon.
Smit follows in2:55:52 and Pro Touch’s Myles van Musschenbroek moved into third place on 2:56:06 with tomorrow’s queen stage, which finishes on top of Du Toitskloof Pass, looming.
De Bod said he felt comfortable during the ride on a stage he always felt would play a big part in his strategy.
With the course reduced from 37km to 26km this year, De Bod said he knew he could go “full gas” from the start.
“There are some hills but there are some long descents and nice rollers, so it is a fast route.
“Being a bit shorter does make a difference because I normally start at a relatively controlled pace before increasing to maximum effort. But the distance allowed me to go from the start.”
Dorma Karma’s Candice Lill overcame her relative inexperience in the time-trial to take the women’s race in 39:47, claiming the yellow jersey.
She was followed by Namibian team-mate Vera Adrian, who clocked 41:42, with Chanel Mason of Café Riders third in 42:04.
After two stages, Lill sits on an overall time of 3:40:56, followed by Adrian (3:42:51) and Mason (3:43:13).
She said she had been guided through the basic requirements of time-trials by her coach and husband, Darren.
“Also, I have done a lot of mountain biking where the kind of effort needed is very similar to that of a time-trial. So I knew I could do well if everything went according to plan.
“I had no real expectations going into the stage and not much idea of the other girls’ ability. All I could aim for was to put in my best effort.”
The Bestmed Tour of Good Hope finishes in Paarl on Friday.