BCX professional David Maree won the Bestmed Jock Classic road cycle race by one second in Mbombela, Mpumalanga, after a thrilling duel with Dylan Girdlestone today.
The 29-year-old from Johannesburg completed the one-day three-stage race over 151km in an overall time of 4:05:03.
He outsprinted Girdlestone on the 63km final stage, leaving the OfficeGuru rider to take second overall, with Steven van Heerden, also BCX, completing the general classification podium.
Maree said he had set himself the goal of winning at least one stage and was delighted with the final outcome.
“As it turned out, I managed to win two and the overall title so that was great,” said the 27-year-old who finished third last year. “But I could not have managed it without the support of my team.”
BCX have produced a number of winning performances of late – Marc Pritzen took the spoils at the Kremetart while Chris Jooste won in Knysna – and they were motivated to maintain that form in the Bestmed Jock Classic, presented by Rudy Project.
Maree said the support of the team was particularly evident on the final stage from Sabie back to Mbombela, which included the infamous Long Tom Pass.
“We knew it could come to a big showdown on Long Tom Pass and from the start Dylan sent a few riders up the road.
“But we were able to jump across and from then Clint [Hendricks], Marc and Chris controlled it perfectly. Nobody was able to ride away on the climb because the tempo we set was just too high.”
He said he knew he just had to bide his time in the closing stages.
“With about 300m left, I managed to go through the final corner a little bit faster than Dylan and was able to hang on for the win.
“Our team effort was amazing and we had so many different cards to play, but Dylan put up a really good fight. He’s making a comeback after some injuries and is getting really strong.”
Demacon continued to dominate the women’s circuit when national champion Carla Oberholzer won the first and third stages en route to claiming overall honours.