The Namibian (Windhoek)

29 January 2013

Namibia: Pretorius Makes It Two in a Row

JUNIOR cyclist Michael Pretorius recorded his second consecutive victory in the Windhoek Pedal Power series when he won the Dordabis road race on Sunday morning.

As in the first leg, he beat his Kia Motors junior team mate Martin Freyer in a sprint to the line to win the 100km road race in 2:44:01. Freyer came second in the same time, while Jacques Celliers was the first senior cyclist home, coming third overall in 2:44:02.

Fiffy Kashululu won the Men's U23 category, coming fourth overall in 2:44:14, while another junior cyclist, Pascal Marrgraff, came fifth overall in 2:44:16.

Riding in hot and dry conditions, Gerhard Mans made the first breakaway after about 35km and held his lead till the 50km halfway mark and turnaround point.

On the return leg the cyclists had to contend with a strong wind from the front, and the leading peleton soon caught up with Mans.

Several attacks followed which fragmented the leading peleton and with about 25km to go Jacques Celliers made a decisive break which reduced the leading pack to five cyclists - Celliers, Pretorius, Freyer, Kashululu and Marrgraff.

Over the final kilometre, Marrgraff made an early attack but he was caught by Pretorius and Freyer, who sprinted through to take the honours.

Celliers and Kashululu, meanwhile, were having their own battle in the senior category, and they both passed Marrgraff to claim third and fourth positions overall.

"It was a good race but it became harder on the return when the wind changed. I feel good to have won my second race - it's a good start for the year, so I think it will be a good year from now on," Pretorius said after the race.

His team mate Freyer was also happy with his performance, saying he didn't mind to come second, as long as his team mate won.

"I'm very happy with my performance and it was also a successful day for the Kia Motors team. It would be a good change to win, but in the end it's a win for the team and coming second as well, so it doesn't really bother me too much," he said.

Third-placed Celliers, who also won the Elite Men's category, congratulated the juniors, but said the shorter distances suited them.

"The juniors are in good form at the moment, with the shorter races suiting them. Last weekend they did 80km and now 100km, so as the races progress they will get longer. We are training for the Cape Epic, and we are putting in the ultra long distances, so fast sprinting is not currently the priority. With the Epic being an eight-day race, we are slogging away the miles and I'm happy with my performance in today's race," he said.

STEYN WINS WOMEN'S RACE

Irene Steyn won the Elite Women's category over 80km in 2:26:30, with Bertha Theron coming second in 2:37:46 and Michelle Vorster third in 2:40:18.

Gene Keet won the U23 Women's category over 80km in 2:40:14, while Chelna Neethling won the Junior Women's category over 80km in 2:26:37.

Philip Steyn won the Veteran Men's category over 100km in 2:55:10, followed by Thorsten Horenburg (2:57:48) and Gerrit Walters (3:01:06), while Tristan de Lange won the Boys' U16 category over 80km in 2:15:45, followed by Herbert Peters in 2:26:30.

Patrick de Goede won the Masters Men's category over 60km in 1:48:21, beating Frank Snyman in a sprint to the line, while Hennie Kohne came third in 1:51:34.

Hartmut Ruppel won the Grand Master category over 60km in 1:48:20, followed by Naude Theron (1:52:38) and Koos van Staden (1:57:29).

Antje Tietz won the Veteran Women's category over 60km in 1:55:08, with Berit Graff coming second (2:14:36) and Helet Westraadt third (2:25:04), while Therese van der Colf won the Women's Master category over 40km in 1:38:52, with Carolin Janik coming second (1:51:02) and Beate von Finkenstein third (2:31:37).

The race once again saw a big turnout of 130 cyclists competing, with only 13 riders not managing to complete the race.

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