Lange wins Argus, Armstrong ninth
Team Medscheme’s Malcolm Lange outsprinted a high-quality breakaway group to win the 109km 2010 Cape Argus Pick 'n Pay Cycle Tour in Cape Town on Sunday.
South African champion Christoff van Heerden (MTN Energade) finished second with Daryl Impey (Team Radioshack) third.
The decisive break of 12 riders moved clear of the large peloton with 36km remaining, just before the climb of Chapman’s Peak Drive. The move contained seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, who was riding in support of his Radioshack teammate, Impey, a fast sprinter.
Lange’s Medscheme team rode a tactically brilliant race, forcing the front group to split in the strong crosswinds and getting Lange, Johann Rabie and Nicholas White into the break along with nine other riders.
“That was our pre-race plan. We decided to use the wind to our advantage and try and split the race up just before Chapman’s Peak. I know that my chances of a winning are best from small group and that suited us perfectly,” said an elated Lange afterwards.
Joining the Medscheme trio in the break were David George, Rene Hasselbacher (both safindit.co.za), Dean Edwards, Tiaan Kannemeyer (both House of Paint), Armstrong, Impey (both Team Radioshack), Burry Stander (Team Specialized), Bjorn Glasner (Team Kuota) and Van Heerden (MTN Energade).
As the break reached the final kilometre, Armstrong put in a strong attack. But the strength of the headwind nullified any effect that may have had. Edwards, a powerful track sprinter, then hit the front but it was also too soon and Lange moved out from his slipstream with 150m to go to win by more than a bike length in a time of two hours 39 minutes and 55 seconds.
“I was inspired to win today. Our teammate, Arran Brown, won last year and is out injured, so we really wanted to defend the title for the team,” beamed Lange. “I owe this win to my team. They were brilliant and we rode a tactically perfect race.”
It was Lange’s third victory in the event. His other wins came in 1998 and 2003. It was the 407th win in his career, which has spanned 19 years.
With 35 000 participants, the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour is the world’s largest cycle race. The conditions were sunny but windy. However, the wind wasn’t as strong as it was in 2009 when just over half the field managed to finish.
Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour 2010
Cape Town, South Africa; 109km
1 Malcolm Lange (RSA) Team Medscheme 2hrs 39min 55sec
2 Christoff van Heerden (RSA) MTN Energade
3 Daryl Impey (RSA) Team Radioshack
4 Burry Stander (RSA) Team Specialized
5 Rene Hasselbacher (AUT) Team sainfo.co.za
6 Dean Edwards (RSA) House of Paint
7 Bjorn Glasner (GER) Team Kuota
8 Johann Rabie (RSA) Team Medscheme
9 Lance Armstrong (USA) Team Radioshack
10 Nicholas White (RSA) Team Medscheme all same time