Cycling-Rose gets emotionally inspired Labour Tour win


05-May-2009

The last time Andy Rose won a major title on the roads here was in 2002 in the National ROSE … Labour Tour winnerChampionship, putting an end to a five-year winning streak for Mathieu who had a mechanical problem with his bike that year.

In 2003, Mathieu reclaimed the title he had first won in 1997 and held it until 2007. He did not compete in 2008, when Francis Louis succeeded him as champion.

It was an emotionally inspired Labour Tour win during the weekend for Rose, who decided to make a comeback to the sport last year after a three-year self-imposed exile.

With cyclist of the year 2008 Louis not 100% fit and unable to complete the four-stage 246.2km Tour, Rose, who pocketed R1,850, drilled himself at the front of the peloton to get three dominant stage victories in new record times.
 
The 28-year-old cyclist won stage one – a 63.9km circuit race on Friday morning – in 1h34:19, stage three – an 81km road race on Saturday afternoon – in 2h08.26 and stage four – a 24.8km individual time trial on Sunday morning – in 32 minutes 26.90 seconds.

Third in stage two – a 76.9km road race on Friday afternoon – in 2h04:52, the same time as race winner Ricky Rosalie and runner-up Graham Bristol, Rose finished with a cumulative time of 6h19:36.
“It’s a fantastic win. I did not expect it,” Rose told Sports Nation.

“I’m back to my old form as I’ve been training hard recently with coach Lucas Georges. I thank my teammates for a job well done. I also thank the organisers of the Tour for their hard work.”

One of the country’s top climbers and holder of the 6.8km individual time trial hill climb record of 23 minutes 16 seconds set on November 30 last year, Rose averaged 38.962km per hour during the Tour to lead his St Francis club to overall victory with 19h18:59.

Teammates Bristol (6h31:55 and an average of 37.737km/h) and Rosalie (6h32:40 and an average of 37.665km/h) completed the medals podium in second and third places.

Richard Felix (Moto Riders, 6h33:41 and an average of 37.568km/h), Edward Pothin (St Francis, 6h34:34 and an average of 37.484km/h) and Eric Talma (Moto Riders, 6h43:02 and an average of 36.696 km/h) finished fourth, fifth and sixth.

G. G.

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