The World Cycling Centre Africa MTN Qhubeka Feeder team have had consistent podium places thus far this year and entered the Carnival City Macsteel National Classic with confidence.
The race was held over 160km, which is about 60km longer than most races, which the team felt suited their qualities well. The competition got off to a fast start, but with few attacks, with the first notable break away of eleven riders going clear after 70km. The MTN Qhubeka Feeder Team was represented by Eyob Metkel of Eritrea and Richard Laizer of Tanzania. Team Bonitas were represented by Clint Hendricks, Hendrik Kruger and Dylan Girdlestone, with Maree and Bester of Abantu and BMC Westvaal respectively.
Shortly after, a group of 5 riders rode across to the main break, making it a 16 strong group at the head of the race with Bonaventure and Janvier Hadi of Rwanda also joining the break.
At 125km five riders broke clear of the main breakaway group with Maree (Abantu), Hendricks (Bonitas), Kruger (Bonitas), Van Zyl (New Horizons) and Eyob Metkel (MTN) off the front with the remainder of the break hovering between 20 and 50 seconds. About 10km later, after some attacks by the chasers, Girdlestone joined the front of the race, making it 3 Bonitas riders and Eyob Metkel of MTN at the front of the race.
Although this placed Team Bonitas in a very strong position, the MTN Qhubeka Feeder Team had 3 riders in the chase group, forcing Bonitas to commit to drive the front group while Metkel could sit on.
With 20km to go, the chase was on in the peloton and the gap was diminishing quickly, with Westvaal BMC and MTN driving. This placed additional pressure on the escapees.
Outnumbered two to one in the final kilometre, the young climber from Eritrea attacked, distancing himself from Hendricks and Kruger and winning the 2014 Macsteel Carnival City National Classic. Meron Teshome won the bunch sprint, finishing in 5th position.
The team’s next races will be the Bestmed Tour de Boland and Cape Argus Cycle Tour.
- Metkel Eyob (Eritrea) – WCCA MTN Qhubeka Feeder Team
- HB Kruger – Bonitas
- Clint Hendricks – Bonitas
- Dylan Girdlestone – Bonitas
- Meron Teshome (Eritrea) – WCCA MTN Qhubeka Feeder
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