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Blast from the past: Bill Rowan strides to inaugural Comrades ...


Blast from the past: Bill Rowan strides to inaugural Comrades glory

Sports reporter

1921 — Bill Rowen wins the first edition of the Comrades Marathon, completing the course from Pietermaritzburg to Durban in 8 hrs 59 min 00 sec. The race was staged on Empire Day, May 24, for the first 30 years. Arthur Newton won the first of his five titles in 1922 while Frances Hayward became the first female winner in 1923. 

1979 — Alan van Heerden becomes the first South African cyclist to win a stage on a grand tour, taking the seventh leg in the Giro d’Italia. The Van, as the 25-year-old Peugeot rider was known, was a surprise winner, lying 85th in the overall classification. But he stayed with the leading group throughout the 252km stage — the longest of the tour — and then went with the decisive break 15km from the end. He edged Italians Salvatore Maccali and Sergio Santimaria in a sprint finish, though all were given the same 6hr 42 min 50 sec time.   

1986 — The Springboks score four tries to trounce the New Zealand Cavaliers 33-18 in the third Test at Loftus Versfeld to lead the four-match series 2-1. Naas Botha, Danie Gerber, Jaco Reinach and Uli Schmidt scored the tries for the home team. ..

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