The Konica-Minolta Racing Team was fire-ing on all cylinders this past weekend as they raced the Liberty Ride for Sight on Sunday 18 February 2007. They did not disappoint as the Ladies Team took the first 4 spots to make it a perfect day for the team. It was a relative large bunch of ladies, and from the start-gun it was fast racing as the girls averaged 40km/h for the first hour of racing. The strategy of the team was to just sit in the bunch until about 45km into the race, when the undulations on the route started, and then put the hammer down. This worked to perfection as early attacks, mostly by Engela Conradie (Proline Computers) and one or two CBIST-Team riders, was closed down on numerous occasions and this set a perfect platform for the team-plan. As the undulations started, it was Konica-Minolta’s Ronel van Wyk, Yolande du Toit, Cherise Taylor and Arien Torsius who picked up the pace, and put the bunch into the gutter, only shadowing themselves from the strong side-winds. This tactic immediately paid dividends as the bunch was reduced in half. The team kept attacking the bunch on numerous occasions, and as the finish approached, positioning in the bunch was crucial as there was a 90° turn with around 200m to the finish. The team used Ronel’s knowledge of the finish, being a local girl from the area, to perfection and took the final turn in an ideal position. Ronel won the race with an average speed of 38km/h over the 116km event with Arien second, Yolande third and Cherise fourth. Team Manager, John Robertson, who returned over the weekend form Egypt - where he managed the SA Team to a 1st and 3rd place overall in the Tour d’Egypt that took place from the 8 to 14 February 2007 - said he was very proud of the girls and the way they raced, taking all the podium spots. The team has a 4-day training camp this week in Clarens in the Free-State and will race the Macsteel Carnival Classic next weekend 25 February 2007.
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