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      Local sport

      Marc Pritzen leads from White River to Middelburg to win Mpumalanga Tour

      The Honeycomb BEE rider won four of the five stages.

      Honeycomb BEE rider Marc Pritzen won the 2022 Mpumalanga Cycle Tour.

      The tour, a five-stage 612km road race, started on Saturday August 6 and finished last Wednesday.

      Pritzen claimed the yellow jersey after stage one and never relinquished it.

      He clocked three hours, 13 minutes and 20 seconds in stage one, a 111.5km circular route that went from White River to Sabie and back.

      Jaco van Dyk of DMS, who was credited with the same, finished second. Defending champion Brandon Downes of TEG was third in 03:13:22.

      The 145km stage two started at Perry’s Bridge in Hazyview and took cyclists to Bushbuckridge, Graskop and Sabie, before finishing at Casterbridge.

      Pritzen won in 04:12:05, with Van Dyk one second behind and U23 rider Jaedon Terlouw two seconds back.

      The top three classification remained unchanged after the second stage, with just 27 seconds separating first from third.

      Stage three started and finished at Casterbridge, via Sudwala and Mbombela.

      Dirkie Nel of DMS took first place by clocking 03:20:06 for the 120km stage.

      Nicholas James of DMS was second in 03:20:17, and Andries Nigrini of TEG third in 03:20:19.

      Pritzen finished ninth in 03:22:09 to retain the yellow jersey.

      Downes, who finished sixth in the stage, moved up to second place overall. Van Dyk dropped to fourth, with Jason Eggett of Honeycomb BEE moving up to third after his eighth-place finish on the stage.

      Stage four took the competitors from Mbombela to Badplaas.

      Pritzen won the 97km stage in 02:39:38, with Van Dyk second in the same time. Terlouw was third in 02;39:39.

      The top three after the stage were Pritzen, Bownes, who was fourth in 02:39:40, and Terlouw.

      The final 139km stage started in Badplaas, headed to Carolina and Hendrina, and finished in Middelburg.

      Pritzen crossed the finish line first in 03:56:57.

      Van Dyk finished one second later and James was third in 04:04:52.

      Pritzen’s overall winning time was 17:23:19.

      Second-placed Van Dyk clocked 17:25:10 and Downes was third in 17:35:45.

      Points classification
      1. Pritzen: 59
      2. Van Dyk: 39
      3. Nel: 16.
      King of the Mountains classification
      1. Pritzen: 23
      2. Jacques Janse van Rensburg: 14
      3. Downes: 10.
      Best young rider classification
      1. Egget: 17:36:55
      2. Terlouw: 17:36:55
      3. Sheldon Muller: 18:23:12.

      The 2022 Panorama Tour ran concurrently with the Mpumalanga Tour.

      It started on August 6 and and finished on August 9.

      The Panorama was a two-rider team event over 334km.

      The races shared stage one.

      Theuns van der Bank and John-Pierre Weideman of Realty Dynamix Powerbar (veteran 30-39) powered to first place in the Open Men category in 09:56:20.

      In the mixed team category, CraZee’s Zanri Rossouw and Craig Leslie took first place in 10:35:32.

      The elite ladies’ race was won by Melissa Kritzinger and Lize-Ann Louw of Pirtek Mongoose in 11:39:37.

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