Unheralded cyclist Manus Altman won The Namibia Model Pick & Pay Cycle Tour on October 16.
Altman, a Namibian by birth, who currently resides in Cape Town, took the Namibian cycling community by complete surprise to win the 100km Cycle Classic.
He made a decisive break from the leading pack down the mountainous Daan Viljoen road, with only about 15km remaining, maintained his lead till the end.
The leading bunch, which included Tour de Windhoek leaders Jaco Blaauw and Jan Hendrik Verdoes, as well as veteran cyclist Michael Swanepoel finished close to two minutes behind.
Several riders tried to break away early in the race, but the pack always managed to haul them in. Some of the early breakaways were initiated by junior cyclist Kim Joerges of the Cycletec team, elite Namibian rider Heiko Hennes, Johan Fourie of the Prowealth team, and Cycletec development riders Garth Petersen and Tjipe Murangi.
In the Daan Viljoen hills Jacques Celliers of Prowealth made a decisive break along with Petrus Haneb, Petersen, Murangi and Joerges, but after the turn-around at Matchless Mine, the leading pack once again hauled them in.
While the leading cyclists were keeping an eye out for tactics and jockeying for positions on the descent back to Windhoek, Altman managed to slip away away from the bunch to build up a sizeable lead, which he held till the end.
Altman entered ?for the fun of it?
It was an exceptional ride by Altman in cloudy and overcast conditions. Altman, who works as an engineer in Cape Town, is currently on holiday in Namibia and decided to enter the Namibian Cycle Classic for the fun of it.
He certainly achieved more than he had bargained for and will now also take the gold medal along to his parents who farm in the east of Namibia in the Stampriet area.
?I didn?t have any special tactics. I just had a good ride and took the race as it came. I managed to break away down the Daan Viljoen road and kept my lead till the end,? he said.
Altman, who cycles competitively in the Cape, said he hoped the victory would help him get a sponsor to assist him in his cycling career.
Blaauw wins Tour de Windhoek
Under 16 cyclist Jaco Blaauw won the Four-day Tour de Windhoek, ten seconds ahead of fellow Under 16 cyclist Kan Hendrik Verdoes.
Blaauw, who rides for the Prowealth team, held a ten second lead over Verdoes going into the final stage, the 100km Namibian Cycle Classic on October 16. Blaauw and Verdoes finished the final stage together in the main bunch behind the Cycle Classic winner Manus Altman, to finish first and second in the Tour de Windhoek. Veteran cyclist Michael Swanepoel came third overall.
Another junior cyclist, Heletje van Staden won the women?s category of The Namibian Cycle Classic, while she was also the overall female winner of the Tour de Windhoek.