Van de Winkel going for a double double13/05/2023
Van de Winkel shines bright at aQuellé Tour Durban17/05/2023
Following on from the successful aQuellé Tour Durban MTB powered by CycleLab on Saturday, the main aQuellé Tour Durban event on Sunday once again attracted passionate riders that took on the various distances with wide smiles and excitement on a beautiful Mother’s Day Sunday.
The more accomplished riders set off on the 110km route early on Sunday morning in perfect riding conditions, with the cool autumn weather providing the ideal backdrop to the day’s racing.
Despite the events shift to a more mass-participation focused event, there was definitely still a racing element at the front-end of the field and the front bunch produced a fast, exciting duel that went right down to the finish line next to the iconic Moses Mabhida Stadium.
Ultimately it was Ivan Harkema of Officeguru Racing that pipped last year’s MTB winner, Brent Yelland, at the line to take the honours while it was Michael Rowland who came home in third place overall.
“It was a very positive race and there wasn’t much chance for a breakaway until the second lap when about five or six of us got away,” Harkema said after his win.
“We managed to make a bit of a gap and then brought the group down to four on the climb and that’s how we raced to the finish and then I managed to take it in the sprint by about half a wheel; but it was such a good race.
“I knew that Brent was the guy to watch and so as he went for the line, I went with him, and he almost had me but I just managed to nick him on the line.”
Harkema produced the ride of the day to pip Yelland on the line and the Johannesburg-based rider enjoyed his time down racing on the East Coast.
“It’s such a lekker course,” he expressed. “It’s a bit weird in that it’s a head wind in both directions, don’t know how that works! The climbs are not that difficult, but they are testing.
“We could have gone with anyone on the team to win today and I was the lucky one to be in the end break that got to the line first.”
For Yelland, he feels that this was an opportunity missed as he was beaten at the line for the overall crown.
“He (Harkema) was riding on my back wheel, and we were holding towards the line, and I was thinking to myself that I can actually win this thing,” Yelland said.
“I don’t know what happened and I lost it in the last five metres which is going to haunt me!”
The women’s race was far more straight forward with defending women’s champion Joanne van de Winkel once again proving her dominance over this event as she powered to victory.
The Sandton City Cycle Nation star, who is based in Hillcrest now, finished in sixteenth overall on the day.
The race saw the women go off with the men and not in a specific women’s batch which meant that there was a different dynamic for the women which Van de Winkel enjoyed.
“I really enjoyed it out there today and it was very different with a big bunch with the men and not the smaller ladies’ bunch, so tactics didn’t really play a role as I just did my best to race the men,” she said.
“I took my turns on the front, tried to go with the breaks and had a really good ride, but with a big bunch it’s also easier to sit in and take some breaks.
“When you are racing in a smaller girls peloton you spend a lot of time doing most of the work and the whole time you are working.”
Van de Winkel won the women’s race on Saturday at the aQuellé Tour Durban MTB powered by CycleLab and this win rounded out a great weekend of racing.
“It is a great feeling and great to do the double in a local race for me now that I live down here, so it was a great two days of racing.
“My legs are feeling it after the two days of racing but it’s a great event and I really enjoyed it,” Van de Winkel added.
Young Under 17 rider Errin Mackridge finished second in the women’s race and 59th overall with Alta Lombaard third.
East Coast Radio presenter J ‘Sbu took part in the shorter 28km event and he was full of praise for the event as his first cycling race.
“It was so much fun, man,” the Drive Show host said. “A huge shout out to the organisers of the event, I had so much fun out there and it looked like everyone was having a great time too.
“Well done to the organisers and the sponsors aQuellé on a great event.”
SUMMARY OR RESULTS – 2023 aQuellé Tour Durban Road Race
1 Ivan Harkema 2:40:55
2 Brent Yelland 2:40:55
3 Michael Rowland 2:40:58
4 Emile Van Niekerk 2:42:28
5 Miles Liebenberg 2:42:28
6 Warren Moolman 2:42:31
7 Josh Rheeders 2:42:45
8 Danie Lombaard 2:42:45
9 Oliver Williams 2:44:37
10 Cameron Wright 2:44:37
1 Joanna Van De Winkel 2:44:41
2 Yvette Ferreira (E-Bike) 2:44:52
3 Errin Mackridge 2:52:47
4 Alta Lombaard 3:00:09
5 Kadence Leigh Ribbink 3:00:17
6 Kayla Leigh Ribbink 3:00:20
7 Sarah Littleton 3:06:11
8 Angelique Muller 3:08:03
9 Jackie Moore 3:08:54
10 Linda Potts 3:09:36
1 Matthew Huson 1:09:18
2 Connor Hawkins 1:14:15
3 Philip Theron 1:14:16
4 Luke Henderson 1:14:17
5 Travis Hewitt 1:14:17
1 Ava Moore 1:14:21
2 Chantal Johnson 1:16:49
3 Cara Huson 1:17:05
4 Emily Simpkins 1:17:21
5 Melissa Hulsen 1:17:22
1 Paul Muller 1:02:14
2 Andrew Larkan 1:03:28
3 Andrew Basford 1:03:36
4 Chris Meyer 1:12:44
5 Ebrahim Osman Khan 1:13:05
1 Kaitlyn Muller 1:02:13
2 Susan Stanley 1:05:29
3 Lauren Stanley 1:05:30
4 Alison Meyer 1:10:06
5 Roxanne Marais 1:19:49