After 95km of gran fondo racing at the 2019 Tshwane Classic in Pretoria, South Africa, last year’s winner David Girdlestone attacked out of a large group with only 2km remaining, only one rider could follow – David Maree.  With 500m to go, Maree got the jump on Girdlestone to take his first Tshwane Classic gran fondo win with an enthusiastic victory salute, including bandaged broken finger.

“Fortunately, I don’t need fingers to pedal,” he joked afterwards.

Both Maree and Girdlestone finished in 2:06:15 with Nick James winning the bunch sprint for the last podium spot a few seconds later.

The fastest women was Ricci-Lee Brookstone who finished in 2:34:47 with Anne Summer next at 2:38:51 and Kim le Court third at 2:39:41.

The gran fondo race did have some mishaps though, roads advertised as “fully closed” were not, creating dangerous rider-automobile encounters.

During the race, third place finisher Nick James’s team tweeted “42kms in and the elite race has been neutralized due to no road closure as advertised!”

Although only in it’s third year, the Tshwane Classic gran fondo is already South Africa’s premier gran fondo, with more than 12,000 cyclists participating this year.

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