(Stellenbosch, 25 November 2015) Defending Stellenbosch Cycle Tour champion James Tennant will be back to defend his title this year. Tennant, fresh from a successful campaign with the National Team at the Tour of Rwanda, will be up against it though, with all the top Western Cape riders billed to be on the start line. “I always race to win, otherwise what’s the point of arriving at the start on the day?” commented the Lights by Linea rider. “If one of my teammates wins however, it’s good enough for me”.
The teammates Tennant speaks of who have a very real chance of taking the honours for the 97 kilometres on Sunday, 29 November 2015 are Stefan Ihlenfeldt,Rohan du Plooy, who won the 2015 One Tonner, and Dirkie Nel, who has come into form of late and finished in the top ten at the recent Momentum 947 in Johannesburg.
According to Tennant, other riders bound to be in the mix on the day include JP Jacobs (Aurecon) and Raymond Cox (CWC), “Team Giant Durbanville always have a few cards to play as well,” he said, highlighting Evan Carstens who has had a good season in the league racing.
In terms of team tactics on the day, Tennant was understandably cagey, but did say, “We as Team Lights by Linea have several cards to play. I’m not the only rider capable of winning in Stellenbosch, we are a strong team and know each other well after a year together. The plan is to win.”
Shameeg Salie – racing under the HotChillee banner – has been in exceptional form and could cause a surprise on the day. Also don’t discount surprise performances from the likes of the Peugeot/Deli 1 and Alpha Bodyworks teams who have been very aggressive in recent local races. Also bound to be a threat is 2013 winner,Johann Rabie.
The women’s race is shaping up to be an all individual affair, with no teams entered. “I will definitely be back to defend my title this year,” commented defending women’s champion Anriëtte Schoeman. “My main rivals on the day would be Jennie Stenerhag – she should be in good form as she has just won the Wines to Whales mountain bike stage race – and Carmen Buchaher, who is also a strong rider.” Stenerhag, with six wins, holds the record for the most wins in this race.
“The sprint is normally fast and in a big bunch so it’s all about your positioning as an individual in the bunch,” Schoeman concluded.
For those riders not competing for line honours in the elite categories, the Stellenbosch Cycle Tour represents the last chance they have to improve their seeding for the 2016 Cape Town Cycle Tour. The Western Cape’s second-largest road cycling event will once again start and finish at Stellenbosch High School in Jannasch Street (just off Merriman Street), with the first group of riders scheduled to start at 06h00.
To stay informed of developments of the Stellenbosch Cycle Tour, join their Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/stellenboschcycletour or follow them on Twitter at @StellenboschCT or visit stellenboschcycletour.co.za for more information.
To stay informed of developments of the Stellenbosch Cycle Tour, join their Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/stellenboschcycletour or follow them on Twitter at @StellenboschCT.