Meet Japie Malanat, the oldest finisher of the Pick ‘n Pay Cape Argus Cycle Tour 2012. Japie is 92 years old and finished yesterday’s Cycle Tour in 05 hours and 49 minutes. What an incredible achievement and what an inspirational story. This is what the Cycle Tour is all about; people from all walks of life, all ages, genders, races and nationalities coming together to take part in the biggest timed cycling event in the world. It is the camaraderie, scenery and spirit of the event that makes it so special!
It is a great honour to win the Cycle Tour and of course I am very happy to have won my first Argus yesterday, but having said that, my victory is somewhat bitter sweet!
Together with some men, I raced aggressively for the entire length of the event. My intention was to try split up the large start bunch, in order to make the finish sprint that much safer! Unfortunately we were not successful in doing so. The nature of the course and the large bunch made it very hard for a break away to get away and stay away to the finish line.
Approaching the finish line, I was very aware of the dangers of a big bunch! We had three different race categories (elite women, men’s 40+ and 50+ vets) all going for the win. Bunch sprints are always dangerous, no matter what the race situation and I found myself praying, especially in the last 10km for my safety and the safety of all the riders around me.
Nearing the finish line, I saw a great opportunity. One of the men started his sprint quite long. The bunch became strung out, I managed to place myself 4th wheel and when the eventual Veteran Men’s winner launched his sprint, I came off his wheel to launch mine. I set my focus on the finish line and was completely oblivious to what was happening behind me. I had no idea of the carnage happening in the peloton, taking about twenty cyclists down, including all three of my Momentum Toyota teammates.
I am very happy to have taken the Cycle Tour win for my Momentum Toyota team, but I am sad for those that were involved in the crash! Well done to Catherine Wiliamson (Team Bizhub) and Lynette Burger (CSA U23) who finished 2nd and 3rd respectively.
The Argus Cycle Tour is a special event for me and my family. As a family we have taken part in the event for many years and it was wonderful having my Mom, sister and husband on the finish line!
Congratulations to all who finished the Cape Argus Cycle Tour yesterday. Whether you were just aiming to finish, a win in your respective category or a personal best time, I hope you achieved all you aimed for and more! To all those involved in crashes, I wish you a speedy recovery! To those who supported on the day, thanks for your cheering, it does make the race so much more enjoyable and special!
Crashes aside, the Pick ‘n Pay Cape Argus Cycle Tour 2012 was a great event! Thanks to all involved in the organisation and running of the event on the day!