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Bomax Junior Tour - NE
South Africa, March 28-31
Stage 1 - March 28: Ermelo Criterium, 36km
Prince is king after sensational sprint cycling victory
Greg Prince is king of the criterium, but only just, as he pipped Raynold Smith and Egan Tarr in the tighest of sprint finishes on the opening day of the 8th Bomax SA Junior Cycle Tour in Ermelo on Friday.
Riding in the colours of the Panda Cycling Team, Prince, Smith (CVT) and Tarr (Finish Line Cycles) were part of a three-man break which moved away from the main bunch on the sixth lap, and stayed away despite a late surge from Hanco Kachelhoffer (Minolta Cycling Academy), SA junior road champion Leon Nel (YCA) and John-Lee Augustine (Schwinn).
While Cape Town-based Smith timed two line sprints to perfection to collect the prime points on offer, Prince maneuvered around the talented sprinter at the perfect moment to take line honours in the 30km event, in 45 minutes and 36 seconds.
"When Smith Tarr and I broke away from the bunch early on in the race, I honestly didn't think that we would be able to hold our lead right through to the finish, but we rode with good rhythm, and I am delighted to have been in the right position to take line honours," said 17-year-old Prince, who will pull on the tour leader's yellow jersey at the start of racing on Saturday, while Smith will ride wearing the points jersey.
1 Greg Prince (Panda) 2 Raynold Smith (CVT) 3 Egan Tarr (Finish Line Cycles)
Stage 2 - March 29: Amsterdam to Ermelo, 79km
Potgieter follows the plan
Johannesburg, Saturday, 29 March 2003 - Marnus Potgieter followed Finish Line Cycles team orders to perfection to win the 79km stage of the Bomax Junior Tour from Amsterdam to Ermelo on Saturday, and also kept team-mate Egan Tarr in the hunt for general classification honours.
While Potgieter took stage line honours in 2 hours 2 minutes and 30 seconds, Panda team's Greg Prince retained the tour leader's yellow jersey, and will hold a one second lead over Tarr, when Saturday's 36km criterium takes place (16h00 start).
"It was all part of our team plan as I worked hard in the bunch together with Tarr, in order to keep him in touch with Prince who is in possession of the tour leader's yellow jersey," said Potgieter, Middelburg's much-talked-about cycling talent.
"I felt exceptionally strong out there and I knew that when I broke away from the leading bunch with 18km to go, that I would be able to stay away until the finish."
Kimberley's Reece Swartz, riding for the SA Cycling Federation development team, was second rider home in the bunch sprint (21 seconds behind Potgieter), with Finish Line's Quinten Henegan taking third place.
Earlier, Tarr collected the first sprint prime of the day at the 16km mark, just ahead of Schwinn rider John-Lee Augustine, with the 58km sprint prime claimed by Tarr.
With Prince wearing the tour leader's yellow jersey, CVT's Raynold Smith (one point behind Prince in the Points competition), will continue to wear the Points competition's green jersey, when the criterium action takes place on Saturday afternoon.
1 Marnus Potgieter (FIN) 2.02.30 2 Reece Swartz (SACF Dev) 0.21 3 Quinten Henegan (FIN) 4 Hanco Kachelhoffer (Min) 5 Quie Ferreira (NOL) General classification after stage 2 1 Greg Prince (PAN) 2.48.15 2 Egan Tarr 0.01 3 John-Lee Augustine (SCP) 0.14 4 Hanco Kachelhoffer (MIN) 0.15 5 Leon Nel (YC1) Points classification 1 Greg Prince (PAN) 12 pts 2 Raynold Smith (CVT) 11 3 Marnus Potgieter (FIN) 11 4 Eugen Tarr (FIN) 11 5 John-Lee Augustine (SCP) 5
Stage 3 - March 29, Ermelo criterium, 36km
Tarr takes over as Prince crashes out of the lead
Greg Prince saw his Bomax Junior Tour title hopes all but disappear after crashing to the road surface in a sprint prime line charge, as he surrendered the tour leader's yellow jersey to Finish Line's Egan Tarr, after Saturday's 36km (12 laps x 3km) criterium stage in Ermelo.
Prince of the Panda Cycling team, who had been in possession of the leader's jersey since the start of SA's No 1 junior tour on Friday, seemed well positioned to contest the 4th lap sprint prime with Tarr, but seemed to suffer mechanical trouble with his bicycle as he tumbled to the ground in sensational fashion, resulting in SA road champion Leon Nel crashing into him from behind, as Tarr eased in to take the sprint prime points.
CVT's Raynold Smith took the criterium line honours in 52 minutes and 52 seconds, and took over the points competition green jersey from Prince as well. Second rider home in the sprint for the finish was Minolta Cycling Academy's Hanco Kachelhoffer, followed by Egan Tarr.
Tarr will be hoping that his time trial skills, as well of those of his team-mates, will be top notch when Sunday's 40,6km team time trial takes place in Lothair road, near Ermelo (14h00 start), in order to protect his general classification lead of 11 seconds, over second-placed Kachelhoffer, with Schwinn team's John-Lee Augustine a 14 seconds behind the leader.
SA Cycling Federation development team rider Reece Swartz showed just why he is a major talking point in sporting circles in his home town of Kimberley as he continued to show fine form in the sprints, as he collected first spot in the second and final sprint prime of the stage.
1 Raynold Smith 52.52 2 Hanco Kachelhoffer 3 Egan Tarr
Stage 4 - March 30: Lothair road team time trial, 40.6km
Finish Line puts Tarr in the catbird seat
Bomax SA Junior Tour leader Egan Tarr will be looking to collect as many sprint prime points as possible in order to block out any title aspirations that Hanco Kachelhoffer of the Minolta Academy team may have, when Monday's 141km final stage of SA's junior road-piece takes place in Ermelo.
Tarr and his Finish Line Cycles team-mates clocked 57 minutes and 5 seconds to take the 40,6km team time trial honours in Sunday's stage, with Minolta next best in 57:44, but although a junior rider, Tarr was the first to admit that Kachelhoffer and his team-mates will make an all-out effort to annex the tour leader's yellow jersey on Monday.
"Finish Line have worked superbly as a team on this tour, and if I can stay among the leaders during the final stage and my team-mates can help get me into the right position for the sprint primes, we should hold off the Minolta challenge," said Tarr, who became tour leader after Saturday's criterium stage which involved a sensational crash between then-yellow jersey bearer Greg Prince of the Panda team, and SA junior road champion Leon Nel.
While Tarr will go into Monday's closing stage with an overall lead of 8 seconds over nearest rival Kachelhoffer, CVT's Raynold Smith will continue wearing the green points competition jersey, currently on 18 points - four ahead of Tarr.
Tour organiser Andre Pretorius said that the Bomax SA Junior Tour would receive a major boost on Monday, when a significant announcement regarding the future of the event will be made.
1 Finish Line Cycles 57.05 2 Minolta 0.39 General classification after stage 4 1 Egan Tarr 2 Hanco Kachelhoffer 0.08
Stage 5 - March 31: Ermelo, 141km
Tarr too hot to handle in the Bomax SA Junior Tour
Egan Tarr is the toast of Middelburg after producing an impressive final stage performance to take tour honours, on a day of crashes at the Bomax SA Junior Tour in Ermelo on Monday.
Tarr, who started the 140km final stage with an eight second lead on the general classification over Minolta's Hanco Kachelhoffer, made his presence felt in the front bunch, with the stage honours going to Sean Hope of the Panda Cycling team, who crossed the finish line in 3 hours 37 minutes 4 seconds, followed by Shawn Breytenbach of the Jowett Cycling Club.
Despite a brave breakaway effort from the SA Cycling Federation Development team's Reece Swartz earlier in the day, Tarr and his team-mates ensured that Kachelhoffer would not break away from the leaders without them being present, thus neutralising the closest challenge to yellow jersey glory.
Finish Line Cycles rider Quinten Henegan, another talent that is sure to make his mark at a higher level in years to come, took the sprint prime at the 26,7km mark, followed by Swartz, with the second sprint prime of the day at 53,8km, going the way of CVT's Raynold Smith.
Cape Town-based Smith, who represented the SA junior team on the track in the Tri-Nations International Track Challenge at the Bellville Velodrome a fortnight ago, was a worthy winner of the sprint primes competition.
"The standard of racing on the Bomax SA Junior Tour was vastly superior to last year's event, with the road stages averaging around 40km per hour, which is three to four kilometres up on last year's race speed," said SACF road head Bart Harmse.
"Also, the bunches were not as split up as in previous years which is an indication of the commitment and will to win of the riders, showing their attitude and respect in competing in SA's junior tour showpiece."
1 Sean Hope (Panda Cycling Team) 3.37.04 2 Shawn Breytenbach (Jowett Cycling Club) Final general classification 1 Egan Tarr 2 Hanco Kachelhoffer