Johannesburg – Daryl Impey (Orica GreenEdge) and Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Hitec Products) successfully defended their elite national time trial titles at the SA Road Cycling Championships in Durban on Thursday.
Impey delivered a smooth performance to keep the charging Jay Thomson (Team MTN-Qhubeka) and Conrad Stoltz (Specialised Racing) at bay along the 40km course.
Impey's winning time was 50 minutes 48 seconds (50:48) with Thomson claiming silver and Stoltz, a four-time Xterra World Champion, a bronze medal.
“The route was pretty straight forward. I knew that the guys were all hungry for the win and I had to keep it consistent,” Impey said after the race.
“I feel less prepared than I was for last years Champs, but sometimes with a more relaxed approach when you go into these races, it all just works out on the day.
“I felt confident after the Tour Down Under, and I rode very strong there. It all went well for me today.”
Elite women's race favourite Moolman-Pasio charged to victory in a time of 42:39 seconds in the 30km race distance.
Heidi Dalton, a newcomer to the Elite category, came in second, while Leandri du Toit claimed bronze.
“I prefer the technical courses, the lap structure was nice and I really enjoyed it,” said Moolman-Pasio.
“The wind was strong but that also worked in my favour to a certain extent. It is great to start the year off with an SA title.”
Moolman-Pasio said she was optimistic ahead of Sunday's road race.
“I will give it my best, and what will be, will be.
“I haven't seen the route yet, but I hear it is quite tough, so all I can do is give of my best and hope that it works out in my favour.”
In the under-23 men's category, Louis Meintjes (Team MTN-Qhubeka) retained his title and national jersey. Silver went to Nicholas Dougall, while Rohan du Plooy took the bronze medal. – Sapa