Rodrigues shows class in Africycle

Richard Nkosi

Top veteran South African road cyclist Robby Rodrigues has shown his class and experience from the start, winning the 145km first stage of the Selati Africycle 2007, which is presented by Toyota, in just over four hours.

The seven-stage road race, which runs over the next week, began on Sunday in Badplaas, Mpumalanga.

"The first day of any race is always hard and we had a very hot start to the race today [Sunday], especially being from Cape Town. It just seemed that much hotter," Rodrigues said after the stage win.

He said the beginning of the race was difficult, especially getting used to the altitude, but after that he managed to regroup.

"Most of today's route was downhill but there was a strong head wind, which made things a little uncomfortable. For now, I'm tuning my legs in and acclimatising because the real race for me starts on Wednesday with the four-day veteran and sub-veteran challenge," said Rodrigues.