Team Drapac’s flying Dutchman Peter Koning stayed at the forefront of the charge up to the Taal Monument to win the overall crown at the Bestmed Tour de Boland, presented by Pinarello, above Paarl in South Africa on Friday. Koning, who secured the yellow jersey on the preceding queen stage, went into the 86km fifth and final leg from Riebeek-Kasteel with a 55-second lead over Bonitas all-rounder JC Nel, with his teammate Dylan Girdlestone a further five seconds in arrears. On the three-lap circuit of Paarl Mountain Reserve, the three contenders remained in the final selection on the gravel road climb to retain their positions in the general classification.
Koning finished fifth on the day to claim overall victory in the shadow of the iconic landmark with an aggregate time of 12:34:07. Nel and Girdlestone, who were both locked on 12:35:00, took second and third respectively. Koning said two riders on the final podium was a great result for the team from Down Under: ‘The guys did a really good job today, pulling all day in the front, keeping it together and depending on me to do the last laps. On the gravel I tried to ride at my own pace and when the others kept attacking I just kept countering and tried to relax. There was no time for panic. It was not too hard for me, so it was really good and quite fun.’
HB Kruger went hard on the final ascent to take Team Abantu’s second stage win in 2:29:09, followed by Girdlestone (2:29:12) and Nel (2:29:17). Boland-born Nolan Hoffman won the day’s two sprint primes in Riebeek-Kasteel and Paarl to secure a dominant victory in the Compendium Insurance points classification. Europcar SA’s Bradley Potgieter, who launched early solo attacks on a couple of stages, took the runner-up spot, with Swiss rider Konny Looser of Aramex third.
Westvaal climber Paul van Zweel claimed the hotspots on Bothmaskloof Pass and Jan Phillips Drive to wrest the Aramex king of the mountains jersey from Tesfom Okubamariam of the MTN-Qhubeka feeder team. Former roadie turned mountain biker Waylon Woolcock rounded out the climbers’ podium after claiming valuable points during a brief attack on the first ascent up to the monument. The MTN-Qhubeka riders did enough throughout to secure the team classification ahead of Drapac and Giant.
In the women’s tour, RECM’s Swiss mountain biker Ariane Kleinhans successfully defended her title in a combined time of 14:05:08. Time Freight E’s Lise Olivier was second (14:10:00) and Namibian road champion Vera Adrian of Bestmed-ASG-Multihull third (14:17:39). Kleinhans proved a worthy champion after taking her second stage win in 2:03:53, followed 12 seconds later by Olivier, with Candice Neethling of Freewheel Cycology third (2:05:15).
Elite men – Stage five
1. HB Kruger (Abantu) 2:29:09
2. Dylan Girdlestone (Drapac) 2:29:12
3. JC Nel (Bonitas) 2:29:17
4. Darren Lill (MIB) 2:29:17
5. Peter Koning (Drapac) 2:29:19
Elite men – Overall
1. Peter Koning (Drapac) 12:34:07
2. JC Nel (Bonitas) 12:35:00
3. Dylan Girdlestone (Drapac) 12:35:00
4. Darren Lill (Privateer) 12:35:42
5. HB Kruger (Abantu) 12:36:07
Elite women – Stage five
1. Ariane Kleinhans (RECM) 2:03:53
2. Lise Olivier (Time Freight E) 2:04:05
3. Candice Neethling (Freewheel Cycology) 2:05:15
4. Vera Adrian (Bestmed-ASG-Multihull) 2:06:14
5. Lara Lyness 2:06:14
Elite women – Overall
1. Ariane Kleinhans (RECM) 14:05:08
2. Lise Olivier (Time Freight E) 14:10:00
3. Vera Adrian (Bestmed-ASG-Multihull) 14:17:39
4. Candice Neethling (Freewheel Cycology) 14:18:40
5. Maroesjka Matthee (Bestmed-ASG-Multihull) 14:23:10
Photo: Drapac’s yellew jersey winner Peter Koning (left) being congratulated by South African Darren Lill after crossing the finish line of the fifth and final stage at the Taal Monument above Paarl on Friday.
Photo: Full Stop Communications