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Photo ©: Schaaf

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South African Road Championships - CN

Pretoria, South Africa, March 3-6, 2005

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Race 1 - March 3: Time Trials

Kannemeyer and Erlank: king and queen of the SA time trial champs

Tiaan Kannemeyer and Ryan Cox (both Barloworld-Valsir) served notice on the rest of the SA pro peloton on Friday that they are the form combination to beat, at least for the early part of the 2005 season.

Kannemeyer grabbed a great victory in the SA time trial championships near Pretoria, leaving his team mate and winner of the recent Tour de Langkawi in Malaysia, Ryan Cox, to finish second, 20 seconds adrift of the powerful Kannemeyer, and yet another BW-Valsir rider, defending champion, David George, to finish third, some 13 seconds behind Cox.

It was a very tough course, starting and finishing at the internationally renowned satellite tracking station at Hartbeeshoek, but for many riders, the second half of the 40km route was an agony of climbing a sequence of six testing hills, each seemingly longer and more demanding the previous one.

Surprisingly, it was on the final two climbs that Kannemeyer eased away from Cox, a recognised international climber, to open a gap and ensure that final victory, while defending champion, George, did well to stay in touch with his two duelling team mates.

In the elite women's time trial Microsoft's Anke Erlank (33:28) once again asserted her domination to win comfortably from Bionic's "rooi rocket", Ronel Van Wyk (33:53), with Proline's Alti Pienaar (35:41) in an excellent third spot.

Hanco tops in under 23 time trial

Exel's Hanco Kachelhoffer blew away the field to claim a comfortable win in the South African under 23 time trial at the Telkom Satellite station on Thursday afternoon. Kachelhoffer pedaled away at the 30km course at a constant rhythm and came home in 41 minutes and 8 seconds, 32 seconds quicker than second placed John-Lee Augustyn (Konica-Minolta). Augustyn's ride was a solid one considering that he is only in his first year as under 23 contender. He claimed silver while Willie van Zyl took out the last medal.

The out and back course was extremely challenging on the way back with the riders having to conquer six rolling undulations on the way home.

It suited Kachelhoffer like a glove. "I just kept on trying my best and keeping my body focussed on the job at hand," he said afterward, with his smiling team captain Rupert Rheeder standing close by. Rheeder followed his teammate in the team car and was very vocal in his support of the former Bloemfontein schoolboy.

The former Under 23 champion, Daryl Impey, yesterday sent his congratulations to Kachelhoffer from France where he is riding for French club Le Pomme this year. Impey's winning time last year was 40 minutes and 15 seconds, which goes some way to illustrate the time trial talent he possesses.

But what makes Kachelhoffer's winning margin significant was that it not only showed that he's going to extremely hard to beat in the National Under 23 road race on Saturday, but that he is also on song for a strong ride in the upcoming Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Giro del Capo. And he is still only 19 years of age.

The under 23 road race takes place around the Union Buildings on Saturday morning and the main protagonists there are sure to be the men who took out the two top spots in the time trial.

The course might favour Augustyn slightly because it is better suited to the climbers and he will fancy his chances.


Elite Men

1 Tiaan Kannemeyer (Team Barloworld-Valsir)
2 Ryan Cox (Team Barloworld-Valsir)          0.20
3 David George (Team Barloworld-Valsir)      0.33

Elite Women

1 Anke Erlank (Microsoft)                   33.28
2 Ronel Van Wyk (Bionic)                     0.25
3 Alti Pienaar (Proline)                     2.13

U23 Men

1 Hanco Kachelhoffer (Exel)                 41.08
2 John-Lee Augustyn (Konica-Minolta)         0.32
3 Willie van Zyl