Former banker Ron Rutland finished his charity bike ride in Brighton in time to watch South Africa play Japan, but it wasn't the celebration he was hoping for
It was supposed to be the celebration at the end of a cycling adventure of a lifetime, but for one South African fan the culmination of his two year trip from Cape Town to Brighton ended in disappointment.
Former banker Ron Rutland initially planned to cycle round the world, but changed his challenge to cycle through Africa and Europe to watch the Springboks play Japan.
But after 26,700 miles, Rutland witnessed one of rugby’s biggest upsets as the Brave Blossoms beat the strong favourites 34-32 thanks to a last minute try from Karne Hesketh.
“I was not expecting that,” he told the Telegraph. “It was the biggest upset in rugby history and it felt like I was watching a movie, I just could not believe it what I had just witnessed. I was absolutely gob-smacked. To be such a big fan and come all this way to see that was just surreal.”
The 41-year-old took the result in good humour, though, later tweeting that he was privileged to have watched an historic rugby moment, but is still backing his country to lift the cup at the end of October.
Rutland visited almost every country in Africa on his journey to raise money for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, before heading through Europe to England’s south coast.
He reportedly plans to cycle to each of South Africa’s remaining pool games in Birmingham, Newcastle and London but admits he might take a plane back to his homeland when his adventure is over.
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