18 March 2013 - Team Aurecon, Aurecon’s league cycling team, secured an impressive overall win in the Veteran category (with an age range of 30-40) of the Tour de Boland, one of the country's premier stage races. A number of international teams participated, but the African teams did the continent proud by climbing to the fore in this demanding four-day tour.
The race took place from 5-8 March 2013 at the Allee Bleue Wine Estate in Franschoek, with all Team Aurecon participants – JP Jacobs, Neville Cragg, Marius Nel and Jacques van Zyl – achieving a place in their respective category’s top five.
With the team fresh out of winning the Western Cape Pedal Power Association League series for the fourth consecutive year and Jacobs, the team’s star climber, being awarded top prize in the overall classification in the league, they were confident that they would take a podium at the start of the Tour de Boland.
The tour had its fair share of challenges and Jacobs was the only veteran who managed to endure until the major climbs on day three, generally regarded as the toughest stage of the tour. When asked about the 140 km day three road race, which included two loops of the dreaded Hellshoogte circuit in Stellenbosch, he remarked, “This was without doubt the most difficult day I've ever had on a bicycle!"
The last day of the tour also held hard and fast racing in store and was made especially tricky due to the wet weather. Although the Elite/PRO race was marked with a few dramatic crashes, the Veterans all managed to stay upright. Final results for the veteran category in this year’s Tour de Boland had Jacobs excelling with a first securing the coveted Gold Leader’s Jersey, Nel with a third, Cragg with a fourth and Van Zyl with a fifth.
Commenting on their success, Aurecon’s Team Manager, Simon van Wyk, said, “Team Aurecon is unquestionably the strongest veteran team in the Western Cape and arguably one of the top veteran teams on the continent.”
Albert Geldenhuys, Aurecon’s Managing Director, RSA, added, “The team’s dominant performance in this tour gives us even more reason to be proud sponsors and supporters of professional cycling in South Africa. We wish them well as they prepare for the South African National Road Cycling Championships in April.”