Team Bonitas rider, Pieter Seyffert, claimed the biggest win of his professional career when he outsprinted a small breakaway group to win the 25th Dischem Ride for Sight 116km road cycling race in Boksburg on Sunday.
The 26-year-old Seyffert finished in a time of 02 hours 36 minutes and 23 secondsedging out Ian McLeod and Dylan Girdlestone (Westvaal BMC) respectively in the dash for the line. The win gave Team Bonitas their fifth win in five weeks.
The race began with an almost customary tailwind pushing riders through the first 50km in just over an hour. Once the route turned to head east past the Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve, the wind became more of angled headwind, forcing the race to split before the rolling climbs towards Heidelberg trimmed the lead pack down further.
It was here that a break of six riders moved clear, comprising Myles van Musschenbroek (Tasol GT), Stuart Fitzpatrick (Europcar), Christopher Jennings (Bonitas), Girdlestone (Westvaal BMC) and Nicolas Dougall (MTN Qhubeka). Facing a solid headwind, the sextet managed to extend their lead to 40 seconds heading towards Heidelberg.
But the peloton was restless and a flurry of attacks ended up with McLeod and Seyffert riding across to the break, which had built a 50-second gap with 23 kilometres remaining. McLeod and Seyffert’s arrival added more aggression to the move, but the increased pace saw only Girdlestone manage to hold onto the charging pair.
With two Team Bonitas sprinters in the main pack behind, Seyffert had the luxury of being able to sit on and let Girdlestone and McLeod do the pacing in the final kilometres. They worked well together and built the break’s lead to one minute with five kilometres remaining, The lead turned out to be big enough to hold off the podium-hungry main pack, and Seyffert made the most of his fresher legs to claim the victory in the sprint.
“I’ve won stages in the Tour de Free State and Tour of the Philippines before, but I’d say this is my biggest road racing highlight,” said Seyffert.
“This race usually finishes in a bunch sprint, which can be a bit of a lottery. So we decided it would be best to get a break clear to improve our chances of a win. It’s really great to be able to give Team Bonitas another win for the year. We have a committed team that read the race tactics well today. I was fortunate to be the one that got the win this time,” smiled Seyffert.
“It’s pleasing to see Pieter win today. That’s three different winners in five races for Team Bonitas this year. All credit must go to team manager, Barry Austin, for putting together such a committed, focussed team,” said Malcolm Lange, a former multiple Ride for Sight winner and now owner of Team Bonitas.
Team Bonitas will tackle Sunday’s Macsteel Carnival City Classic next.
“The Carnival City race is 156km long, which will be a good test over a longer distance and an ideal form-check ahead of the South African Champs, which is one of our big goal events for the first quarter of the year,” said Seyffert.