The Construction du Cap, otherwise called the Ninetyniner took place in Durbanville over the weekend and has always been a national seeding event and a very popular race for most cyclists to boost their Argus seeding. Team MTN/Energade won the event last year with Juan Van Heerden and this year we would be back, although only a very compact team consisting of Juan and myself. This year however the organizers decided a route change was in order, and they couldn’t have made a better change for myself personally even if they tried!
The race would now finish with the final 7km consisting of Vissershok climb, descending the other side and then the final 1.2km straight up Odendaal street, a near vertical final kilometer ascent to the line, probably the only “hill” top finish in any race I’ve done. Note to organizers, we need more finishes like this please.
Conditions were perfect on the day, and again with only two of us there, we’d have our work cut out for us. It’s always hard racing the Cape Town teams as you never know who to lookout for and which teams are strong on the day. We decided to watch Daikin Gu as one of the teams, and obviously David George (FullImput) when we hit the final 7km. soon after the start though, there was a number of other teams who began to send riders up the road and we could only follow so many moves before being caught out. Juan would do most of the following allowing whilst I sat on as much as possible. This worked well until two riders, most noticeably Dave Garret (Daikin Gu) slipped away with another rider from a bigger team, and very quickly creating a gap of up to two and a half minutes at one stage. So the two teams with the most riders each had a man up the road, no one was keen to hit the front of the race. So Juan and myself began to set a hard but steady tempo on the front, realizing everyone would just sit back and watch. This is when Erik Kleinhans (GT/Maties) came to the front and with one or two of his boys helped Juan pace on the front, allowing me to save my legs. Erik did an incredible job with Juan and for about 50km they rolled through and off to bring the two riders back, just in time with about 10km remaining before the “Vissershok” climb.
As expected, once we hit the climb, Dave George put in his attack and it was only myself who could follow the hard tempo. I came around him halfway up to continue his pace as we were opening a gap on the rest of the group. I won the King of the mountain going over the top and we had about only 15seconds on a small chase group. Then the final kilometer, straight up, we continued to drive a hard pace to stay away, and with about 300m to go I began my sprint, although looking more like a slow motion version, and managed to ride Dave off my wheel to hit the line first and win my second Ninetyniner!
It was another good effort by our compact “coastal” squad, and without the team work done by Juan and the help from Erik Kleinhans, the results may have been very different!
Next race, South African Road and Time Trial Championships in Klerksdorp, two very big goals for our team. Till then, cheers.
1st Kevin Evans (MTN/Energade) 2hrs46
2nd David George (Fullimput)
3rd Stefan Ilenfeldt
4th Moolman Welgemoed (Daikin Gu)
5th Charles Keey (Blend)