The 25-year-old Fouche made the win the look relatively easy as he out-sped Johann Rabie (Tasol GT) in the uphill finish to the hilly 103km race. Third place went to Fouche’s teammate, Hanco Kachelhoffer. The victory followed the three successive wins by Team Bonitas’ Christoff van Heerden.

Herman Fouche celebrates winning the long uphill sprint to claim the Optimum Berge en Dale title in Krugersdorp at the weekend.

Photo credit: Cycle Nation

“It’s a tricky race. It starts with a tough climb and finishes on a slight uphill. It can be a difficult race to control but we did a great job,” said an elated Fouche. “Much of the route is in the Cradle of Humankind where we do a lot of our training, so we know the area well. It was just a case of taking control when it mattered and getting our lead-out just right for the finish.”

After the testing climb up Krugersdorp Hill and a series of early attacks, three riders got clear by the 20km mark – Peter Lee Jefferies (Europcar), Rohan du Plooy (ASG) and Donovan Lubbe (Westvaal BMC). They combined well to maintain their lead for most of the race, but weren’t able to contain the Team Bonitas depth and were caught with 15km remaining.

“Once that break went clear, we took control of the main bunch and managed to keep the gap to no more than a minute-and-a-half,” explained Fouche.

“We then decided to bring back the move towards the end and then it was a matter of timing our lead-out. I had the perfect train to take me to the line, with HB Kruger, Hanco Kachelhoffer and Christoff van Heerden making it a formality for me to finish it off. I finished second here last year. It’s good to go one better personally, but most important is the win for the team.”

“I’m very pleased with the guys. We went into the race with only one plan – to get Herman to the finish line first,” smiled Bonitas team manager, Barry Austin. “It’s important for the riders to pull a win like that off because in a race like “The Argus” that’s the kind of pressure you have. We never had a Plan B this weekend and that’s a big responsibility which the team executed perfectly.”

“That was an unbelievably good example of team work,” said Malcolm Lange of Lange Sports, the company that owns Team Bonitas. “I’m pleased to see such cohesion among the riders, both the new guys and those that have been in the team for a while.

“There’s no room for individual agendas in this year’s Team Bonitas squad and the results have shown just how important that is. Four wins in four races is a fine way to start the year off. Now we just have to keep the momentum and maintain the one-for-all, all-for-one commitment.”

Team Bonitas will tackle the popular Dischem Ride for Sight in Boksburg this weekend. Follow their progress on twitter: @Team_Bonitas.