Barrow bolts to victory in EL cycle tour

    Former South African U23 road champion Clinton Barrow celebrates his third victory in the Daily Dispatch SPAR Cycle Tour, which took place in East London on Sunday. Photo: Supplied

    Former South African U23 road champion Clinton Barrow bolted to his third win in the Daily Dispatch SPAR Cycle Tour in East London on Sunday.

    Barrow (Giant-Ride Life) held his nerve in a tight three-man sprint to take the title in 2:34:36, just milliseconds ahead of former Border 1000 champion Donovan O’Reilly and in-form Port Elizabeth rider Marinus Prinsloo (Bestmed-NMMU).

    In a replay of last year’s women’s race, multiple winner Anriette Schoeman (Africa Silks-Bestmed) again outsprinted PE compatriot Allison Hertel (Bestmed-NMMU) to seal a hat-trick of wins.

    The seven-time Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour champion, who won The Herald VW Cycle Tour two weeks ago, crossed the finish line along the Esplanade in 2:44:21 with Hertel just a second off. Veteran roadie Amanda Akom finished a distant third in 3:01:47.

    East London-born Barrow said the racing conditions had been near perfect, with a light drizzle keeping the heat off.

    Multiple winner Anriette Schoeman (Africa Silks-Bestmed) sealed another hat-trick of wins at the Daily Dispatch SPAR Cycle Tour in East London on Sunday. Photo: Eugene Coetzee

    He said the Bestmed-NMMU team had pushed the pace from the start of the 100km classic.

    “In the beginning I was with them. They were racing and I was on my own.

    “So I had to play the race really well because they had the numbers.”

    Being isolated, the 23-year-old said he had to choose his efforts well. He did this successfully and when the winning break went clear at the 25km mark, he was one of the five-rider selection.

    They group stayed together until Barrow and O’Reilly forced a move with two kilometres to go, leaving the Madibaz riders to chase hard.

    “It came down to a sprint and I managed to hang on and take it.”

    This is the second podium in as many weeks for the young climber, who took the runner-up spot at the 99er Cycle Tour in Cape Town last weekend.

    The Buffalo City race was the culmination of a full weekend festival of cycling that started with the mountain bike races and Nutri-Kids Mini Cycle Tour on Saturday.

    Top local rider and reigning Border 1000 champion Jason Reed claimed the honours in the 55km Bova mountain bike challenge in 2:18:47.

    He was followed home by Jason Peach in 2:28:53, with Kyle Bradford rounding out the podium in 2:36:36.

    In the women’s event, Michelle Schlebusch took the win in 3:19:44, with Christine Harrison second in 3:28:59. Madelein Gerber finished third in 3:38:30.