Gerda van den Bos
10 September 2014
The fifth annual Clover Lowveld Cycle Tour took place in Graskop from 6 to 10 August, with the Elite Men participating in five stages and the rest of the cyclists for four days. While the weather played along for the first day’s racing, rain and mist set in over the weekend. This did not deter the cyclists, who took on the hills around Graskop with gusto.
The Clover Cycle Tour is one of the toughest in the country. It includes time trials and racing distances of between 100 and 156 km a day. Still, every year, the cyclists come back for more.
Hendrik Wagener, outgoing tour director from H&A Toere, said they had 40% more cyclists this year, while all the top clubs in South Africa participated.
This year, 17 women participated in the various categories. Among them were Commonwealth Games participants Lise Olivier and Cherise Stander, as well as professional mountain bikers Yolandi du Toit and Dalene van der Leek.
Yolandi said afterwards on her blog at www.yolandidutoit.com: “The Clover road tour is a wonderful initiative from H&A tours to improve road cycling in South Africa. All that’s needed is for the ladies to take full advantage of this opportunity and race positively and unrestrained, and it would definitely help lift the level of the sport.”
Lise won the overall first place in the women’s division, while Dalene came second and Yolandi was third. Lise wore the leader’s pink jersey, sponsored by Africa Silks in Graskop, for most of the race.JC Nel triumphed in the Elite Men’s division.
All the results are at www.hatoere.co.za.