Willie Smit takes Active Bodies to record victory at Coronation Double Century – Bicycling Reporter
Active Bodies, led by newly-signed World Tour Katusha rider and African champion Willie Smit, won the 2017 Coronation Double Century over 202km in a new record time of 04:30:12 in Swellendam on Saturday.
“That’s what we came here to do,” commented a visibly elated Clint Hendricks after the finish. “I don’t know why I keep doing it,” he added. “it’s always really tough.”
Alfa Bodyworks, the 2016 runners-up, featuring Nolan Hoffman, Shaun-Nick Bester, HB Kruger and Shameeg Salie finished second in a time of 4:38:48, with Team Mad Macs pb häzz rounding off the podium.
The men’s race in the world’s largest team time trial lived up to the pre-race hype with all the big guns going hard from the start. Alfa Bodyworks looked like early favourites. However, they, along with Freewheel Cycology Racing and Hot Chillee seemed to hemorrhage riders early on, due to punctures and early fatigue. They however managed to keep it together to have the required six of their 12 riders finish, but it was Active Bodies who was ahead at every time check.
According to Hendricks the team – which included Smit and captained by Bradley Potgieter – rode faster in 2017 despite not having as many ‘name’ pros.
“We were a lot smoother than last year. We had 11 guys until about 25km to go and only lost guys because of the punctures.”
Conditions were perfect for racing early on, cloudy and cool through Buffeljagsrivier and up into Tradouw Pass, the first real test of the route, however temperatures soon became an issue as riders got onto the R62.
The women’s category was dominated by pre-race favourites, Tiletoria Train. The team, including Bianca Holtzkampf, Hazel MacGill, Susan Melmed, Maroesjka Matthee and Desiree Strydom never held back and had a healthy lead at all of the check points.
The hotly contested Mixed division was taken out by Design in Motion, with Hotchillee Mixed in second while the UCT cycling team took home the Charles Milner Trophy in the men’s division for the first team to finish with all 12 of their starting riders. The PEaK / I Love Boobies Team won the women’s section.