Lance Armstrong’s South African debut didn’t go to plan on Sunday when the RadioShack leader failed to set up victory for team-mate Daryl Impey in the Cape Argus n Pick n Pay Cycle Tour.
The RadioShack duo were part of the 12-strong group which went away with 30 kilometres to ride but at the finish Impey could only manage third behind fellow South Africans Malcolm Lange and Christoff Van Heerden with Armstrong tailing home in ninth at six seconds.
“Lance tried to go with a kilometre to go but I don’t think he realised how strong the wind blows down here in the Cape,” said Lange after his third victory in the world biggest timed cycling event.
“I think their plan was to make me go early but I waited and with about 150 metres to go I knew I had it.”
With gusts up to 50 kilometres an hour the strong winds were the main difficulty for the 35,000 participants and Lange’s wining time of 2-39-55 for the 110-kilometres was more than 12 minutes slower than Robbie Hunter’s course record.
Cycling Weekly editor Robert Garbutt led home the magazine’s four-man team in about four and a quarter hours and was very pleased to have improved on last year’s effort by more than an hour and a half.