Saturday, February 14, 2015

African Continental Championships: Julius wins U23 race

To finish up the Continental Champs down in Wartburg, South Africa, it was the home nation that dominated the race with 5 out of the top 7 being from the Rainbow Nation. The Elite and U23 races ran together and with both South Africa and MTN-Qhubeka having a juggernaut in the race, it turned out to be a fairly boring affair.
Louis Meintjes did his attacking thing and went off the front while there was no real impetus to chase from those behind him including Jay Robert Thompson, Jacques & Reinart Janse van Rensburg (no relations) and MTN-Qhubeka amateur riders Jayde Julius and Hendrik Kruger. The chasing group also included a trio of Eritreans riding for MTN-Qhubeka including Daniel Teklehaimanot, Natnael Berhane and Merhawi Kudus, Ethiopian Tsgabu Grmay and some riders from the Maghreb like Azzedine Lagab (Algeria), Rafaa Chtioui (Tunisia) and Adil Jelloul (Morocco).

Meintjes was plowing ahead up front on the tough course while the riders were falling off in droves. In terms of the U23 race, it was a two man race between Julius and Kudus once Valens Ndayisenga (Rwanda) and Temesgen Buru (Ethiopia) fell off the pace. Julius, who rode for a Belgian team as a junior, rode for Team Bonitas last year but got a ride in France last summer with Team Martigues SC and was 5th in the GP Nice.

Julius and Kudus were together for the final sprint with Julius taking it to win the U23 RR crown. Buru rode in around a minute later to take 3rd place while Mauro Silveira (Sao Tome and Principe) and Ndayisenga rolled in a couple minutes later.

Julius and Ndayisenga are heading up to the Tropicale Amissa Bongo with the South African and Rwandan National Teams respectively.

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