Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
8 Mar 2014
2:00 pm

Fouche ready to retain his title

Wesley Botton

Aiming to become only the third rider in the 36-year history of the race to retain the men's title, Herman Fouche is ready to throw everything he has at the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour tomorrow.

FILE PICTURE: Cyclists take part in a race. Photo by Gallo Images/Foto24/Cornel van Heerden.

Fouche said yesterday that he and his Bonitas team-mates were bracing themselves for a stiff challenge from the elite peloton, but he was confident they were ready to retain the crown at South Africa’s most prestigious one-day cycle race.

“Everyone is in good shape,” said Fouche, who edged Tyler Day and team-mate Christoff van Heerden to win the Argus title last year.

“We’re all in high spirits and we’re ready to give it our best.”

With the wet weather in Gauteng putting a dampener on his final preparations, Fouche was pleased with the warm conditions in Cape Town, and he was ready for the wind to play its usual part in race tactics.

No rainfall is expected in Cape Town tomorrow, but a 26km/h south easterly is predicted, with 39km/h gusts.

“The weather in Johannesburg has been a problem, but this is what we do for a living, so we’ve been training in the rain,” Fouche said.

“I’m in Cape Town now and there’s no rain, but there is wind and they say it’s definitely going to pick up.

“The wind always plays a big factor in professional cycling races, with teams trying to split up the group. We will use every factor of the conditions to our advantage and try break up the bunch before the finish.”

In the women’s race, Anriette Schoeman will target her eighth Argus victory in 15 years.

Schoeman secured a record seventh title last season when she beat former winner Cherise Stander.

As many as 35 000 elite and amateur riders will take to the streets of Cape Town for the annual 109km race.