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Maree takes Jock Classic title by a whisker

BCX professional David Maree won the first and third stages to propel himself to a one-second victory in the Bestmed Jock Classic road cycle race in Mbombela, Mpumalanga, today.

With what he described as "outstanding support" from his team, Maree completed the one-day three-stage race over 151km in an overall time of 4:05:03.

He outsprinted multiple former champion Dylan Girdlestone on the 63km final stage, leaving the OfficeGuru rider to take second overall in what is one of the country's oldest classics and generally accepted to be the toughest.

Steven van Heerden, also BCX, placed fourth behind Dylan le Roux on stage three to complete the general classification podium.

Maree, from Fourways in Johannesburg, said he had set himself the goal of winning at least one stage and was delighted with the final outcome.

"As it turned out, I managed to win two and the overall title so that was great," said the 27-year-old who finished third last year. "But I could not have managed it without the support of my team."

BCX have produced a number of winning performances of late - Marc Pritzen took the spoils at the Kremetart while Chris Jooste won in Knysna - and they were motivated to maintain that form in the Bestmed Jock Classic, presented by Rudy Project.

Maree said the support of the team was particularly evident on the final stage from Sabie back to Mbombela, which included the infamous Long Tom Pass.

"We knew it could come to a big showdown on Long Tom Pass and from the start Dylan sent a few riders up the road.

"But we were able to jump across and from then Clint [Hendricks], Marc and Chris controlled it perfectly. Nobody was able to ride away on the climb because the tempo we set was just too high."

He said he knew he just had to bide his time in the closing stages.

"I believe that racing is pretty simple if you are ahead and, even though I had a slim lead, all you have to do is to stick with the guys you know who are going to be good.

"With about 300m left, I managed to go through the final corner a little bit faster than Dylan and was able to hang on for the win.

"Our team effort was amazing and we had so many different cards to play, but Dylan put up a really good fight. He's making a comeback after some injuries and is getting really strong."

Maree won the opening stage ahead of Girdlestone and ProTouch's James Fourie with Pritzen taking stage two ahead of Van Heerden and Maree.

Demacon continued to dominate the women's circuit when national champion Carla Oberholzer claimed the first and third stages en route to claiming overall honours.

Oberholzer, who also placed second in the middle stage won by her teammate Kim le Court, said they had worked as a team going over Long Tom Pass on the final stage.

"With about 10km to go I managed to get away and was able to maintain the lead until the end. Kim broke away later on to take second."

She added that they were pleased to keep their form going and that they would now look to build up to the big races at the end of the year.

Results
Stage one, 48.5km
Men
Elite
1 David Maree 1:19:10
2 Dylan Girdlestone 1:19:11
3 James Fourie 1:19:11
4 Steven van Heerden 1:19:12
5 Chris Jooste 1:19:14

Vets 30-39

1 Alex Pavlov 1:27:20
2 Jaco Cronje 1:27:21
3 Martin Pieterse 1:28:44
4 Stephen Cooke 1:28:52
5 Martin Hillermann 1:29:55

Vets 40-49

1 David Labuschagne 1:25:27
2 Johann Naude 1:25:27
3 Stefano Madies 1:25:50
4 Mark Pretorius 1:28:13
5 Shaun Scott 1:30:13

Vets 50-59

1 Shane Brown 1:32:12
2 Greg Wittstock 1:32:13
3 Dirk Nel 1:32:16
4 Gary Beneke 1:32:17
5 Guy Le Ray Cook 1:32:21
Women
Elite
1 Carla Oberholzer 1:43:01
2 Yolandi du Toit 1:43:21
3 Zanri Rossouw 1:43:21
4 Lauren Walker 1:43:43
5 Kim le Court 1:43:48

Stage two, 45km

Men

Elite

1 Marc Pritzen 1:13:22
2 Steven van Heerden 1:14:32
3 David Maree 1:14:33
4 Dylan Girdlestone 1:14:33
5 James Fourie 1:14:35

Junior men

1 Ryan Terry 1:15:22
2 Damon Fouchee 1:15:25
3 Jean-Pierre Lloyd 1:15:30

Vets 30-39

1 Jaco Cronje 1:21:45
2 Alex Pavlov 1:21:45
3 Martin Pieterse 1:21:45

Vets 40-49

1 Johann Naude 1:25:17
2 David Labuschagne 1:25:17
3 Glen Porter 1:28:00

Vets 50-59

1 Greg Wittstock 1:30:05
2 Gary Beneke 1:30:06
3 Dirk Nel 1:30:43

Women

Elite

1 Kim le Court 1:38:34
2 Carla Oberholzer 1:38:35
3 Yolandi du Toit 1:38:38
4 Zanri Rossouw 1:38:40
5 Danielle van Graan 1:38:42

Stage three, 63km

Men

Elite

1 David Maree 1:31:21
2 Dylan Girdlestone 1:31:22
3 Dylan le Roux 1:31:26
4 Steven van Heerden 1:31:26
5 Chris Jnr Jooste 1:31:27

Junior men

1 Jean-Pierre Lloyd 1:31:23
2 Damon Fouchee 1:31:27
3 Ryan Terry 1:35:48

Vets 30-39

1 Martin Hillermann 1:37:59
2 Alex Pavlov 1:38:00
3 Jaco Cronje 1:38:00

Vets 40-49

1 Jeandre van Schalkwyk 1:40:24
2 Johann Naude 1:40:24
3 David Labuschagne 1:40:26

Vets 50-59

1 Gary Beneke 1:47:11
2 Greg Wittstock 1:47:33
3 Dirk Nel 1:47:59

Tandem

1 Fanus Alberts & Casper Kruger 1:47:32
2 Martin Buck & Bonny Swanepoel 1:53:00
3 Louise Jordaan & Theodorus Jordaan 1:54:06

Women

Elite

1 Carla Oberholzer 1:59:12
2 Kim Le Court 1:59:17
3 Yolandi du Toit 1:59:32


General classification

Men

Elite

1 David Maree 4:05:03
2 Dylan Girdlestone 4:05:04
3 Steven van Heerden 4:05:10
4 James Fourie 4:05:14
5 Chris Jooste 4:05:17

Vets 30-39

1 Jaco Cronje 4:27:04
2 Alex Pavlov 4:27:04
3 Martin Pieterse 4:31:33

Vets 40-49

1 Johann Naude 4:31:08
2 David Labuschagne 4:31:09
3 Jeandre van Schalkwyk 4:38:54

Vets 50-59

1 Gary Beneke 4:49:32
2 Greg Wittstock 4:49:51
3 Dirk Nel 4:50:57

Women

Elite

1 Carla Oberholzer 5:20:48
2 Yolandi du Toit 5:21:30
3 Kim Le Court 5:21:39
4 Zanri Rossouw 5:21:44
5 Lauren Walker 5:23:01

Tandem

1 Fanus Alberts & Casper Kruger 4:43:59
2 Martin Buck & Bonny Swanepoel 5:06:09
3 Dunette Shaw & Gerhard Shaw 5:13:35



BCX professional David Maree celebrates his victory in the one-day three-stage Bestmed Jock Classic road cycle race, presented by Rudy Project, over 151km in Mbombela, Mpumalanga today. Picture: Memories 4 U Photography

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