The DiData Continental team’s plan came together in a well-orchestrated finale when Stefan de Bod was crowned overall champion in the Bestmed Tour of Good Hope today.
Finishing at the Taal Monument just outside Paarl in the Cape Winelands, the 21-year-old De Bod allowed teammate Matteo Sobrero to take the stage honours as the team won their fourth stage in a row.
Ahead going up the final climb, De Bod held back for Sobrero to cross the line first, enabling them to add the points classification title to their list of honours.
Their teammate and defending champion, Kent Main, took third spot on the stage, finishing second overall.
Delighted with winning another title in South Africa’s premier stage road race, presented by Scicon and the City of Drakenstein, De Bod said their planning could hardly have worked out better.
A time-trial specialist, De Bod said Tuesday’s leg had been the key element in their triumph.
“The plan was for me to take the yellow jersey in the time-trial and from there we rode to protect the jersey.”
He will now tackle the Cape Town Cycle Tour on Sunday before joining his teammates on a flight to Italy in the evening to prepare for the European season. They will race on the continent until mid-October.
Overnight leader Ariane Luthi (Spur) completed a successful week by taking her fourth stage in a row to capture the women’s title after ending fourth last year.
The Swiss pro, who led by just over three minutes going into the final day, was followed home by Carmen Buchacher, who also took second place overall.
Although there was a breakaway during the stage, the peloton closed the gap to just one minute at the start of the final climb.
“We caught Aurelie up the climb and I attacked once more just before the end to get the stage win.”
Having set her sights on the overall title, the five-time Cape Epic winner said she was very happy at holding onto the yellow jersey.
“There are a lot of unknowns in this race in terms of the strength of your competition, so you just have to test the waters on the first day.
“The time-trial win was very important for me because that gave a confidence boost.”