Stage 3 would be the longest stage of the Mzansi Tour at 201km but it would not affect the outcome of the General Classification. Herman Fouche (Bonitas) took the stage win from a big bunch sprint while Jan Sokol (Synergy Baku) was 2nd and Nolan Hoffman (Abantu), a former silver medalist at the the track world champs was 3rd.
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung had Youcef Reguigui have a go in the finale but the Algerian fast man was slightly boxed in and finished in 4th position. The team had an overall good day as they were able to retain the lead in the Overall Classification and African Rider Competition with Jacques Janse van Rensburg and also the Mountains Classifications and Young Rider Classification with Louis Meintjes . It was only the points jersey that the team had to surrender over to Hoffman today after the Abantu rider’s impressive display of sprinting throughout all the tours sprint primes.
The early racing saw a number of attacks being launched but Team Abantu we’re intent on keeping the race together at least up to the first sprint prime and so all attacks were unsuccessful. The racing would end up staying together until after the 2nd sprint prime at 88km before Willie Smit (Vini-Fantini), Lavery (Synergy Baku), Patrick Kos (Airgas Cycling), Isiaka Cisse (WCCAfrica) and Jayde Julius (Bonitas) then got away.
The 5 leaders built up a gap of 2’50” with 40km to go before Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung and Team Abantu took control of the chase. With 20km to go the break would begin to attack each other as their lead rapidly decreased. Smit would eventually go clear and held off the peleton until 4km to go.
A big crash on the final left hand corner took out a number of riders and disrupted the sprint somewhat. In the end though the favourites for the sprint were all more or less in contention with Fouche having the faster finish on the day.
Rider – Youcef Reguigui
“The finish was a little bit crazy with a Vini Fantini rider all over the place in front of me so i couldnt get out. The last 5km also seemed to go by too fast, like maybe it wasn’t actually 5km but at the finish i ended with 4th. Tomorrow will be a hard day even though it is short so we will have to try ride at the front.”
Stage 4 – Blue Hills Estate Circuit (79,5km)
15 laps of 5.3km circuit, numerous corners will make a lot of accelerations quite taxing. A race for the strong sprinter.
Mzansi Tour (South Africa) – (8-12 April/UCI 2.2) Team Line Up