The 33rd Dis-Chem Ride for Sight was held in near perfect weather conditions at Boksburg City Stadium on Sunday 20th February. The road race saw a surprisingly large field in these Corona Virus affected times, of 2 480 loyal supporters of this event, a seeding event for the Cape Town Cycle Tour 2023.
In the men’s race, over a tough 116km course, the event, for the first time in many years, went to a full bunch finish. This saw the best bunch sprinter of the lot, Josh van Wyk, who is a renowned Velodrome track expert, multiple SA champion and the record holder of the Paarl Boxing Day 25 miler at 53 minutes 11 seconds, having to go 2 and a half times his favourite distance to beat all comers in the dash for the cash, at the fast and tricky finish.
In second wheel in a narrowly fought finish, in fact quite a heavily contested finish, was Gustav Basson who rode brilliantly and race favourite, going down by just a bicycle to the flying van Wyk. Third wheel went to the hardest worker in the pelaton- David Maree. Maree known as Mr Fetch it, once again almost fetched the gold but ended up on the third rung of the podium. The fast and favourable conditions meant that the bunch were unable to split themselves from any of the big sprinters and ended in the very exciting sprint finish, sadly not witnessed by the usual enthusiastic spectators who were restricted due to Covid regulations.
The women’s race was a small but high-quality field that saw race favourite Carla Oberholzer, bronze medallist at the recent SA Champs securing herself yet another victory. Oberholzer was too good for the opposition and outsprinted second placed Lize- Ann Louw with Michel Botha coming in third.
All the categories were hotly contested with many bunch finishes throughout the morning. Jacque Fullard, a previous race winner and Vets A category winner, came back today to win the Vets B category from David Cooke. Fullard has won many races over the years including the SA Road championships twice.
This was a superbly presented race with very few casualties and a good field of almost 2500. The prestige of this event means that it is rapidly emerging as one of the country’s most important single day bike races – the Dis-Chem Ride for Sight, proudly sponsored by Dis-Chem Pharmacies. Retina South Africa is the beneficiary of this event which funds research and upliftment projects in the fight against retinal blindness. Over the last 33 years the event has raised over R10m and ensured South African patients will have access to emerging treatments.
Full results are available at www.racetec.co.za
Retina South Africa