Brown targets back-to-back titles
Arran Brown has his sights set on becoming the second rider to win back-to-back titles at the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge in Johannesburg on Sunday.
Malcolm Lange is the only rider to have won the race in consecutive years, claiming victory in 2000 and 2001.
Brown, who has won the Challenge twice in his career, in 2009 and 2011, hopes to match Lange's record and add his name to the race's history books.
"I'm motivated to win and I believe my form and fitness is very good at the moment," Brown said ahead of the race.
"Together with a good team, I should pull it off, but you never know what will happen at the race."
Having won 12 races this season, Brown is in peak form. He recently secured victory at the MTN OFM Classic in Bloemfontein and the Engen Classic in Durban.
With a preferance for local races, Brown said his performances this season had a lot to do with the support from his MTN Qhubeka teammates.
"They make my race as easy as possible, so I can get to the last 200 metres and sprint to the finish," he said.
"SA racing suits my ability because it's really flat and short in duration.
"We race around two hours here, compared to the five or six hours in Europe."
Brown expected Tyler Day, spearheading the Bonitas team, to put up the strongest challenge.
"I feel under pressure as the race favourite. A lot of the guys will probably make my race hard, but Tyler will definetly be my main rival.
"He has been second in the past two races that I won, and he's definitely someone who will give me some competition."
Day was second at the OFM Classic and the Engen Classic, but Bonitas team manager Barry Austin believed he could finally outsprint Brown.
"Arran and Tyler are similar in many respects and we feel that Tyler is our best option to challenge for the title on Sunday,” Austin said.
"Tyler's form is sharp and he just needs things to go his way with positioning and timing to get that first place he's been so close to lately."
Meanwhile, in the women's race, defending champion Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Momentum-Toyota) will make her third appearance in the Cycle Challenge.
Should she successfully defend her title, Moolman-Pasio will set a record of winning the Argus, the South African Road Championships, the African Championships and the Cycle Challenge in the same year – a feat which has never been achieved by a male or female rider.