Team Bonitas claim team trial gold

    Team Bonitas riders prepare for the start

    Team Bonitas have claimed the gold medal in the team time trial at the 2012 South African road cycling championships in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga. The six-rider unit clocked a time of 01 hour 02 minutes 56.9 seconds for the undulating point-to-point 47.8km course, starting in Kaapmuiden and ending at the Mbombela Stadium.

    Team NuWater finished second with Team ASG completing the podium positions. The six-man Bonitas team comprised Tyler Day, Darren Lill, Johann Rabie, Hanco Kachelhoffer, Jason Bakke and Ian McLeod. “We came into this event with only the gold medal in our sights and we achieved that. It’s very satisfying,” said Team Bonitas owner, Malcolm Lange.

    “It was quite a tough course with some nasty uphill drags near the end. We lost Tyler with about 15km to go, but the remaining five riders kept it consistent until the end.” Team Bonitas used special Pinarello time trial bicycles designed to put the rider in a more aerodynamic position than on a regular road bike.

    “Because the position is quite different, the team spent quite a lot of time training together on these bikes. in addition to power, rhythm and flow are important elements in a team time trial. As soon as that is interrupted, you start to lose time,” explained Lange. At the 20km checkpoint, Bonitas were two minutes and 30 seconds down on NuWater, but then began to pull back that deficit steadily and turned it into a similar winning margin by the finish.

    “I think the other teams might have started a bit too fast and began losing riders early on (the time is taken on the fourth rider across the line). We aimed for an even pace throughout and knew it was important to keep strong in the final section and it worked out well,” smiled Lange. This is Team Bonitas’ second medal of the 2012 championships following the bronze medal secured by Johann Rabie in the Elite men’s individual time trial on Thursday. The team will be out to defend Darren Lill’s title in Sunday’s 160km road race.

    “It’s a tough course for the road race, but we have some good depth in our team and are confident we can contest the gold medal. We have a few different trump cards and will play them all if necessary. It’s going to be a cracker race!” said Lange.

    Team time trial – 47.8km

    Leading results:

    1. Team Bonitas (Darren Lill, Ian McLeod, Jason Bakke, Johann Rabie, Hanco Kachelhoffer, Tyler Day) 01hr 02min 56.9sec
    2. Nuwater (Shaun Ward, Jaco Venter, Theuns van der Bank, James Tennent, Johannes de Beer, Anton Wynand) 1:05:22.8
    3. ASG (Kevin Patten,James Fourie, Dustin Kilpatrick, Wiehann du Plessis) 01:07:40.9