Teenager Erasmus wins Tour de Windhoek

Xander Erasmus (in yellow) won the Tour de Windhoek on 5 May 2024. Photo: Helge Schütz

Xander Erasmus of Team On Track gave a sensational performance to win the 2024 Tour de Windhoek yesterday morning. 

Going into yesterday’s final stage, Erasmus held a 23-second lead over his experienced compatriot Brandon Downes, riding for Team TEG Procycling, but despite several attacks Erasmus managed to stay in touch with the leaders to eventually beat Downes by 20 seconds to win the title.

Erasmus, who is still only 17-years-old, won the five-stage tour in a combined time of seven hours 24 minutes 34 seconds, with Downes coming second in 7:24:54 and another TEG Procycling rider Blaine Kieck third in 7:25:21.

Martin Freyer, riding for Team Hollard, was the first Namibian home, coming fourth overall in 7:27:08, while Igor Silva of the JT300 Angolan team came fifth in 7:27:46. 

They were followed by Namibia’s Daniel Hahn of Mannie’s Bike Mecca team (7:28:08), South Africa’s Warren Moolman of TEG Procycling (7:28:32) and another South African, Gustav Roller of Team on Track (7:32:30). 

After the race, Erasmus said their team tactics worked to perfection. 

“Today it was super hot, it was all about tactics, but thankfully the team did everything to perfection. Blaine was out front he had about 50 seconds on me so we just kept the gap under that and closed it and everything just worked out perfectly and I can’t thank the team enough,” he said. 

“It’s definitely one of my top achievements so far – it’s not just because the race is so cool, but it’s such a beautiful place to race here in Namibia. I’ll definitely be back next year,” he added. 

Erasmus’ team mates dominated the individual awards with Gustav Roller, also only 17 years old, winning the King of the Mountains category as well as the Sprinters category, although TEG Procycling won the team award in an overall time of 22:15:57, beating Team on Track (22:32:12) by more than six minutes to the title, while Team Hollard Men came third in 22:36:44. 

Kelsey-Jade van Schoor (in yellow) won the women’s race. Photo: Helge Schütz

Kelsey-Jade van Schoor of South Africa, meanwhile, won the women’s title after beating Namibia’s Anri Greeff to the line. 

Van Schoor of Team Customized Cycling Pirtek came first in an overall time of 6:04:48, followed by Greeff of Hollard Ladies in 6:05:30, while South Africa’s Lucy Young of Customized Cycling Pirtek came third in 6:05:54. 

They were followed by Namibia’s Melissa Hinz of Hollard Ladies (6:06:32) and Isabella Lebreton of Reunion Island (6:08:23), riding for Team CCSL SoVeto.

Van Schoor’s Customized Cycling Pirtek team mates Lucy Young won the Sprinters category, while Melissa Joy Kretzinger won the King of the Mountains category. 

Van Schoor said it was a team effort. 

“The final stage was a lot of fun because it was the last day so you just had to get to the finish safely, but we still had a mission out there today. We were one point behind in the sprint classification so we had to set it up for Lucy (Young) so that she could get into the green jersey again. We managed to do that and set her up for the hot spot and the final sprint so we are in green and the team also walked away with the polka dot jersey, the GC classification and the sprints, so it was a really good day out for the team,” she said. “Honestly it hasnt quite sunk in yet (to win the title) – it’s really great, but it would not have been possible if I didnt have the support from my team backing me up,” she said, adding: “I’ll definitely be back – it was really well organised, it was a really good event and it’s definitely high up there now on my calendar.”

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