Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
14 Feb 2016
2:23 pm

Venter charges to SA road race title

Wesley Botton

Jaco Venter made a late break and surged clear to win his first elite national title in Westville on Sunday.

Cycling. Picture: Thinkstock

The 29-year-old Dimension Data rider secured a convincing victory in the men’s road race, held in warm conditions on the final day of the SA Road Cycling Championships.

“Obviously it is an awesome feeling to be national champion. I have tried for a few years to win the championships so it is good to finally have done it,” Venter said.

He completed the 170km race in 3:58:35, well ahead of his nearest challenger.

Stefan de Bod was the second rider across the line, 24 seconds behind his teammate.

As an Under-23 rider, De Bod was ineligible for the elite podium, though he won the age group title to add to his time trial victory earlier in the week.

Reinardt Janse van Rensburg earned silver in the elite division, finishing third overall in 3:59:02, with Clint Hendricks securing the bronze medal.

Defending champion Jacques Janse van Rensburg had joined Dimension Data teammate Songezo Jim, Calvin Beneke (Panda) and Kent Main (Road Cover) in a four-man break, opening a gap of more than seven minutes on the peloton in the midway stages of the race.

Attempting to chase them down, Daryl Impey (Orican-GreenEdge), who won his fifth SA time trial title earlier in the week, and former road race champion Louis Meintjes (Lampre-Merida) led the charge at the front of the group.

Without the support of their international teams, the duo worked hard to close the gap, with a pack of Dimension Data riders lurking on their wheels.

The peloton caught the leaders with less than 15km remaining, and Venter launched an attack on a climb on the the final lap as he cruised to victory.