As the sun dawned on the mountains of the valley of Paarl, cyclists taking part in the TOGH, were mentally preparing for the first of the time trial section of the race. Specific equipment is traditionally needed for the time trial section, like disc wheels and a change of handlebars, cyclists were however not permitted to do this on the day as per notification from the race organisers.

The official start of the time trial section was set to begin at 8h00 with the individual racers, and the ladies from 10h30, and it was going to be a scorcher of the day. The time trial section offered cyclists, other than the elite teams, the opportunity to ‘’show off’’ their racing horses and skills, due to the format of this section of the race.

The individual riders, including the ladies, which includes the South African National time trial Champion Liezel Jordaan, race against themselves and the clock, for a time after the completion of the 26km route. Local fans could also get a glimpse of how competitive and tough the elite ladies are, as each rider would pass after they have set off from the starting point. The starting point was hosted by Boland Landbou school again, in the heart of the Paarl valley, part of the Drakenstein municipality.  What was set as a beautiful route on the day, no cyclists had the time to admire this, as it was pedal to the metal from the start, to race against the clock. Some of the community in Paarl, on their daily commute to work or school could actually see some of the teams on a warm up ride through the town, on their way to the start of the team time trial.

As the elite teams set off one by one, later in the day, the tension could be sensed. Any mistake would cost any of the teams dearly on the day, and a few seconds could cost you losing a yellow jersey, or gain the jersey on the day. What a wonderful site it was as teams, in their individual colours, were counted down by the timekeepers (who do this on a voluntary basis). Teams from Mauritius, Brunei, The United Arab Emirates and our neighbours Namibia were ready for a very tough day on the road.

Pieter Seyfferd, team captain of the Pro Touch team, confirmed with us, that a team trial is a discipline that needs to be practised extensively, and is very important to ensure good communication within the team. ‘’We were fourth overall, which is not that good based on what we planned but we did not lose a lot of time, but we will have to chase really hard of what is left of the tour. Tomorrow’s is the Queen stage, which is the toughest stage of them all but with the unpredictable wind in the Cape, who knows what is in store for Friday’s stage up the Taal Monument. We still have 3 riders who could still win this Race, but we will have to work really hard to do this’’’’

The Pro Touch team recently signed, Clint Hendricks, who grew up in Paarl, and  Pieter confirmed that he is still one of the favourites for Sunday’s Cape Town Cycle Tour.

Unfortunately, Team Enza Construction’s Nolan Hoffman lost the yellow jersey but still retained the green jersey. Marc Pritzen, of Team Office Guru walked away with the prized leader’s jersey, with his team taking the win in a time of 34:07secs.

In the Ladies race, Kross Racing Teams’s Maja Wloszczowska held on to the yeallow leaders’s jersey with her winning time of 40:40secs.

As the teams prepare for a very tough Stage 4 on Thursday, the general classification can go any way.

General classification

Elite men

1. Marc Pritzen (OfficeGuru)
2. Alexander Worsdale (OfficeGuru)
3. Dylan Girdlestone (OfficeGuru)
4. Travis Barrett (OfficeGuru)
5. Louis Visser (TEG Procycling)
6. Ryan Harris (TEG Procycling)
7. Kent Main (TEG Procycling)
8. Jason Oosthuizen (TEG Procycling)
9. Nolan Hoffman (Team Enza)
10. David Maree (Team Enza)

Elite women

1. Maja Wloszczowska
2. Ariane Luthi
3. Liezel Jordaan
4. Lucy James
5. Catherine Colyn
6. Julie Borgers
7. Yolandi du Toit
8. Sophie Housden
9. Andrea Turkovic
10. Chanel Hannah

If you are going in support of this event, lease adhere to the rules of the road and the traffic officials as you make your way to the event to show your support, but most importantly respect our cyclists.

Live feeds can be found on the tour’s official  twitter account. Please follow: @tourofgoodhope for the latest news during the race every day, during every stage.

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