Every rider who is prepared to put in long hours of training will eventually have his moment of glory on the winner’s podium.
Bradley Potgieter (MTN-Energade), who won the Carousel Classic on Monday (9 August), can vouch for that.
2010 certainly did not start out well for the young rider. On 5 February, when he was on his way to join his team-mates for a training session, he was involved in a motor car accident.
He broke his wrist and foot in the accident, and also fractured an ankle. This meant that he could not resume his training before the end of March.
Listening to Potgieter when he talks about his career as a pro-cyclist, it becomes clear that he firmly believes that there is no letter ‘I’ in the word ‘team’. When he gets onto his bike to race, his main motivation is to do whatever it takes to ensure a victory for his team.
To sum up, Potgieter is the one rider who is prepared to sacrifice himself time and again for the benefit of his team. Therefore, it is not surprising that the Carousel Classic was Potgieter’s first victory of the season.
“I have to admit that I did enjoy winning the Carousel Classic, especially because I am not often in a position to win a race.
“But, come the next race, it will be business as usual for me. I will be there to help the sprinters or climbers in my team. However, if the opportunity should arise, I certainly would go for a victory again.”
According to Potgieter, Monday’s race developed into a titanic battle between the riders of MTN-Energade and Medscheme.
“The windy conditions certainly made the racing extra hard. The Medscheme riders’ intention was to have the rest of us riding in the gutter. They were quite successful in their effort, because after about 40 kilometers of racing there were only about 20 riders left to battle it out for overall victory.
“The deciding moment occurred when Hanco Kachelhoffer (Medscheme) attacked with 10 kilometers to go. I managed to stay with him and then Pieter Seyffert also joined us. We stayed in front until the end when I outsprinted Hanco to achieve victory.”