The peleton moves though Pretoria on the first day of the Cell C Tour of South Africa Copyright: Craigdutton.com/2011

19th February 2011

Stage 1: Menlyn Park Shopping Centre to Montecasino: 154km

The inaugural Cell C Tour of South Africa kicked off at the Menlyn Shopping Centre this morning just after 10am with a host of support from the public at the start and along the route.

The start of the race was extremely fast paced and according to Race Director Barry Austin, it took approximately 15 minutes to cross from one side of Tshwane to the other.  A couple of riders broke away about 10kms into the race, the most aggressive team of the day was definitely Team Rapha Condor Sharp.  Once Rapha launched the first attack they were chased down by Team DCM.

However, former British National Road Champion, House and Martin Blaha managed to open up a sizeable lead of 5.49minutes after 2hrs 25 of racing. A Team Europcar rider together with 360Life and Toyota Academy tried to get across but the move was neutralized by the peloton.

Blaha stayed with House for 90 minutes until the pace proved too much for him allowing the Rapha Condor Sharp rider to ride solo to the finish.

During an aggressive chase by MTN Qhubeka, the bunch split in two and an unfortunate crash happened where Europcar rider, 2010 KOM winner in the Tour de France Anthony Charteau  and approximately 20 other rides went down, including Chris Jennings, and Rapha Condor Sharp rider Graham Briggs who got injured, but managed to finish the race.

  1. Kristian House – Rapha Condor Sharp – 03h42’03”
  2. Herman Fouche – DCM @44’25”
  3. Milan Kadlec – Team Czech Republic@44’25”

The overall jersey competitions are as follows:

Best African Rider – DCM – Herman Fouche

Samsung Best Young Rider – Team Bonitas- Tyler Day

King of the Mountain – Rapha Condor Sharp – Dan Craven

Points Classification Jersey – Rapha Condor Sharp – Kristian House

General Classification Jersey – Rapha Condor Sharp – Kristian House

Riders exit the tunnel at the Hartebeespoort Dam Copyright: Craigdutton.com/2011

Estifanos Gebresilassie of the UCI African Team caught in no mans land during the Cell C Tour of South Africa Copyright: Craigdutton.com/2011

Kristian House breaks away and powers to the finish on the first day of the Cell C Tour of South Africa Copyright: Craigdutton.com/2011

Kristian House wins the first stage of the Kristian House Copyright: Craigdutton.com/2011

Kristian House wins the first stage of the Kristian House Copyright: Craigdutton.com/2011

Kristian House wears the Yellow Jersey on the first day of the Cell C Tour of South Africa Copyright: Craigdutton.com/2011

Prize Winners on the first day of the Cell C Tour of South Africa. Copyright: Craigdutton.com/2011

My personal notes on this very first Tour of SA: Having worked as part of the management team on The Tour of Britain as well as The Tour Series, looking at these pics above really does male me cringe. Here are my reason why:

1) What is the official race photographer doing by hiding behind the crowd as Kristian is coming into the finish? As the official photographer he should be on the road (in the area designated by the UCI for race photographers). In doing so he will have full view of the race finish without any obstructions.

2) I know each photographer has a specific style, but why the dark artistic tones to all the pictures? These images, besides being used for the media reportingon the race each day, are also used to help attract sponsors for next year’s event.

3) Post race presentation – why are the podium girls wearing such shorts skirts? Does it really add any “style” to the presentations? I don’t think so! In my opinion it just cheapens up the race and takes away the class. Take a look at the Tour de France and The Tour of Britain and see how their podium girls are presented.

4) Most probably the important item that got to me was the race presentation jersey’s. Team’s work hard each other to get the riders onto the podium and have their sponsors names up in the lights. Now while at The Tour of Britain, we asked each team to provide “team sponsor” stickers so that we could stick them onto the presentation jerseys. So why wasn’t the same done for the teams taking part in the Tour of SA. Did a memo or email go out to the teams that only Team Bonitas responded to? The Tour of SA need to step up their organisation if they want to make this Tour a success.

Now don’t get me wrong, I want my home grown tour to work.  But at the same time, I want the sport of cycling to do well. If the Tour organisation want the sponsors and the riders/teams to come back next year, they need to get the presentation right.

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Comments
  1. […] UK fan’s of Rapha Condor Sharp some images from the event. In addition to my previous posts (stage 1, stage 2, stage 3, stage 4, stage 5, stage 6 and stage 7), here are some more pictures of the team […]

  2. sweatngear says:

    […] the UK fan’s of Rapha Condor Sharp some images from the event. In addition to my previous posts (stage 1, stage 2, stage 3, stage 4, stage 5, stage 6 and stage 7), here are some more pictures of the team […]

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