Positioning in the sprint for the line will be critical when the East Rand Classic road cycle race takes place in Kempton Park in Johannesburg on April 28.
This is the view of Johannesburg cyclist Ryan Harris, who has finished second in the last two years.
Formerly the Emperors Palace Classic, the race has a new venue this year, but will follow much the same route as previously, providing an opportunity for the sprinters to show their ability.
“The fast guys love this race because it normally stays together until the sprint finish and that’s where the team effort becomes very important,” said Harris.
“You have to make absolutely sure of your positioning going into the final two kilometres or so and it’s all about getting your tactics right with your teammates.
“The team plays a key role in creating favourable conditions for the designated sprinter.”
The East Rand Classic’s feature race will be contested over a distance of 98km, while there is also the option of doing a 48km route. Entries for the event close on Monday.
Harris said the nature of the route made it difficult to create a breakaway.
“It has always been contested on a flat route, which, of course, makes for a fast race.
“I wouldn’t describe it as a boring race, but it’s a fact that no attacks can really get away from the main bunch.”
He added that that didn’t stop some teams from trying to create a gap.
“You always find that teams who do not have an out-and-out sprinter will try to break away, so there are numerous attacks along the route.
“But what happens is the peloton is rolling so quickly that they generally bring it back together pretty soon and it’s back to the one bunch.”
Besides the road races, the East Rand Classic offers two mountain-bike events over 50km and 25km, which will take place on April 27.