RoadCover’s Kent Main showed his strength on the climb up Du Toitskloof Pass to win the third stage in the Bestmed Tour of Good Hope road race just outside Paarl today.
The 21-year-old from Linden in Johannesburg finished in a time of 3:19:12 on the 133km queen stage of South Africa’s premier road race.
He was followed home three seconds later by teammate Eddie van Heerden, with Dimension Data’s Hafetad Weldu third in 3:19:18.
Pro Touch’s Myles van Musschenbroek, who came in fourth, took over the yellow jersey from defending champion Stefan de Bod.
His provisional overall time of 6:15:47 places him ahead of Main (6:16:38) and Van Heerden (6:17:00) in the general classification.
Main, who joined teammate Eddie van Heerden in a breakaway group of eight riders, said he knew they needed to push early on the final climb.
“We felt the guys would just follow if we didn’t go hard, but luckily we caught them off guard with about two and half kilometres to go.”
Main said there had been a number of attacks early in the race, but had bided his time.
“In the end, the one move I did follow was the one that got away, so I was possibly quite lucky in that respect.”
He said at one stage their lead had shrunk to 45 seconds before they attacked to restore it to around four minutes.
“From that point we kind of knew we would stay away and as Eddie and I are both strong on the climbs we used that to our advantage.”
In the women’s race, Bestmed-ASG’s An-Li Kachelhoffer won her second stage, but was unable to make up more than a handful of seconds in the overall standings.
Her attack early on the final climb saw her finish in 4:07:40, 12 seconds faster than second-placed Brit Chanel Mason.
Third place went to Dorma Karma’s Candice Lill (4:07:57), who took the lead in the general classification after yesterday’s Buffet Olives individual time-trial.
Lill provisionally heads the standings on 7:48:56, followed by Mason (7:51:08) and Luthi (7:52:13), who finished fourth on the stage.
After a tactical race for much of the day, Kachelhoffer said she had attacked with about 10km to go.
“I knew I had to put in some speed so they couldn’t just climb on my wheel,” she said.
Despite the gap on the general classification, Kachelhoffer said the team would keep pushing on the final two stages of the tour, which is presented by the City of Drakenstein and Scicon.
“You never know what will happen in a tour of this nature,” she said.
Tomorrow’s stage will take riders on a circular route over 134km that includes ascents of Du Toitskloof Pass and Bain’s Kloof, before finishing at the Taal Monument above Paarl on Friday.