Oberholzer retains her title, while Pritzen wins men's elite in thrilling finish

For Oberholzer (Team Demacon), her victory saw her defend the title she won last year, while the 20-year-old Pritzen celebrated what he described as the biggest win of his young career.

Pritzen, of Team Officeguru, was “speechless” after his victory. His teammate, Alex Worsdale, was second with David Maree (Team Enza) third.

I’m speechless, to be honest,” said Pritzen, the South African under-23 champion. “I have to say thank you to the team for believing in me and always backing me. This is not my victory, this Officeguru’s victory. It is my biggest win.

Mark Pritzen, Discovery 947 Ride Joburg Elite Men's winner

Pritzen, who only took up cycling seriously three years ago, was part of a 15-man breakaway that formed early in the race and managed to stay away, opening the time gap to two minutes and 40 seconds at one stage. The gap came down to less than a minute with South African champion and Tour de France stage winner, Daryl Impey, pushing hard, but then opened up again after the lap around the Kyalami race track.

At one stage, I didn’t think our break would stay away. The gap started coming down quite quickly, but then we realised that without us really pushing hard, the gap stayed the same and even increased a little. I think there was some hesitation in the group behind us. We knew that Nolan (Hoffman, a former winner of the race) wanted to have a bunch sprint, even though his Enza teammate, David, was in the lead group with us. We knew we had to keep pressure on so we could soften the legs of the others.

Mark Pritzen, Discovery 947 Ride Joburg Elite Men's winner

In the final kilometres of the race, Pritzen and Worsland began working on tactics for the finish with the lead group having been whittled down to just seven. They launched small attacks, and then Worsland upped the pace with a long spell on the front. Pritzen attacked 50 metres from the finish to take the win and the cheers of the crowd.

We dominated from the beginning. There was never really a plan going into the finish. We had Travis (Barrett), Alex and myself there. I tried a couple of things going up to Kyalami and then on Kyalami, which didn’t really work. Towards the end, Alex asked me how I felt. I told him I was keen to sprint and he said he would sacrifice himself for me.

Mark Pritzen, Discovery 947 Ride Joburg Elite Men's winner

Oberholzer won a long sprint from second-placed Joanna van der Winkel (Cycle Nation), who was third last year, with Parys Edwards (Karan Beef) a strong third.

“I’m so happy to take this for our team,” said Oberholzer. “We had some superb team work out there today. Heidi Dalton went in the early break. Then she dropped back to the bunch. We had to play a bit of a waiting game because Cycle Nation were in the front."

We managed to cross over on Jan Smuts and establish the break. I had Kim le Court with me and she rode absolutely superbly. She did so much work for me and I cannot tell you how much I appreciated that. Coming into the sprint it was myself, Jo and Parys, and I was pretty confident I could take them. I came and looked at the finish on Saturday, and I knew what I had to do. I’m pretty happy it all worked out.

Carla Oberholzer, Discovery 947 Ride Joburg Women's Elite winner

Relive all the action from Discovery 947 Ride Joburg raceday here.

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