South African Championships: Title defense comes crashing down, Janse van Rensburg takes a consolation silver medal

Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) won the South African national road title in Oudsthoorn, out-sprinting our Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka climber, Jacques Janse van Rensburg. 3rd place on the day, as well as the u23 title, went to Jason Oosthuizen (Barzani Pro Cycling).

The 153km South African national road race took place today and unfortunately, our African Team’s hopes of defending our title were all but over even before the race truly began. With only 35km completed, we were in a strong position with both Janse van Rensburg and Louis Visser in the early break of the day.

Disaster then struck in the peloton as 5 of our remaining 6 riders all came crashing down after a touch of wheels between Impey and our continental team rider, Kent Main. Main hit the deck hard as Impey came across his front wheel in the gutter and as our entire team was following his wheel, they subsequently all came crashing down too. Impey rode off into the distance, almost immediately bridging to the break with the riders who weren’t involved in the crash.

Main was sent to hospital but Ryan Gibbons, Nic Dlamini, Nic Dougall and Stefan de Bod picked themselves up and started chasing. Jaco Venter, who just missed the big crash, made it to the front group with Impey but then punctured and joined our quartet in the chase. The leading group was not waiting around though and drove open the gap. With the numbers upfront, and our lads battered and bruised, there was no coming back despite a valiant chase effort.

Eventually Impey then went clear from the lead group and Janse van Rensburg and Oosthuizen followed. When it came down to the sprint, there was no matching the Tour Down Under victor who is in incredible form at the moment. Impey secured his first ever national road title to go with his 7-time trial titles, Janse van Rensburg took home the silver medal with Oosthuizen the 3rd rider across the line but also the first u23 rider, and therefore winning that title.

Fortunately, on initial assessment it seems no broken bones were sustained by our riders, mostly cuts and road rash, a concussion for Main though and Gibbons has been sent for further precautionary scans at a hospital in George.

Kevin Campbell – Sport Director

We are obviously disappointed with today’s outcome. We were hoping to defend both our elite and u23 titles today but a big crash and a few subsequent mechanicals changed the game today. It’s not absolutely clear how the crash occurred, but crashing is part of bike racing. Jacques rode well and did what he could but in the end, there was no beating an in-form Daryl in a two-up sprint.