In-form Viljoen Favoured on Sprinters Circuit
The opening leg of the Beachfront Lodges Premier Cycling League in Port
Elizabeth on Saturday will suit Walmer Club’s veteran sprinter Wayne
Pheiffer down to the ground.

Cycling expert Theo von Ruben said yesterday that the five-lap,
82-kilometre largely flat Butterfield circuit was tailor-made for a
bunch finish and that it would suit wily sprinters like the former Bok

“The finish calls for experience,” he warned. “The last five kilometres
are particularly tricky.”

Von Ruben said positioning and timing would be everything on the
undulating and fast run-in to the line. “I see it as a long,
three-phase sprint and therefore the rider who gets himself to the
front at the right time will have the best chance.”

He said if the bunch stayed together, Pheiffer would have a better than
even chance of taking the honours. Von Ruben named Toyota-Cycle
Lab’s Doug Shadwell as his dark horse.

“If he got away towards the finish and there is some indecision in the
bunch, they may never see him again.”

However, Von Ruben ultimately reverted to the formbook in naming his
race favourite. “Conrad Viljoen (MecerNMMU)
is clearly the top rider in the province at the moment and I won’t bet
against him.”

He said Viljoen won the Makana Brick race over a similar distance in
Grahamstown on Sunday in impressive style and bagged his second Eastern
Province elite title over 138km two weeks prior to that.

“His (Viljoen) best chance will be to win off the front or from a small
group and therefore the onus will be on his team to make the racing
early on in order to split the race wide open.”

The league pits the top six riders from each club against each other
and is a showpiece of what the province has to offer, said Von Ruben.
“I’m extremely excited as this elevates the profile of elite cycling to
where it is supposed to be.”

Anyone can enter the 49km Cycle Challenge that starts five minutes
after the main race and covers three laps of the same circuit.
Registration for both races is at 1pm at Grassmaster
in Kragga Kamma Road, with racing starting at 2pm.

For more information, contact Shane Bradfield on 074 114 4811.

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