Kenton Kirkwood took the victory in the Men's 40-44 Time Trial at Day 2 of the 2017 SA National Road Championships in Wellington on Wednesday 8 February. Photo: Double ST

In the Men’s 30-34 Time Trial, track cycling star Theuns van der Bank grabbed the Championship Jersey over the 27.1-kilometre course in a time of 38 minutes, 28.243 seconds. Egon Campbell took second place with Andrew Stockwell claiming the bronze medal for the second year in a row.

Van der Bank, who gets his results from track cycling said: “I actually enjoy road cycling the most, that’s why I’m so happy to have won a national title on the road at last. Now I can claim that I’m a roadie as well.”

He mentioned that the major difference between the two disciplines for him was the fact that there are always more weather conditions to factor in during a road race. “That’s the real difference - I feel the wind, the heat, the rain – there’s a lot more to think about,” he added.

ccs-62657-0-77102100-1486565035.jpgDeno van Heerden taking a rest after the Men's 35-39 Time Trial at Day 2 of the 2017 SA National Road Championships in Wellington on Wednesday 8 February. Photo: Double ST
Racing in the Elite Men’s team for the Road Race, Van der Bank feels that Sunday’s race is going to be a difficult one. “It’s going to be against a lot of the bigger cycling teams. But I think if you play it smart though, the chances of winning are always there. The preparation has been there, so I’m not expecting to win but a podium would be really great,” he concluded.

Neil Timm rode his first race in the Men’s 35-39 age group this year, and snapped up the gold medal in the category. He completed the same route as the 30-34 Men (27.1km) in a time of 38:20.948. After a second place in 30-34 last year, Timm was ecstatic. “It’s a challenging route because it’s undulating – you’ve got to watch your power and monitor your effort. I think the wind is always a bit tricky in the Western Cape but I had a good race overall, I’m very happy with it,” he said.

Timm felt that the road race is going to be an exciting one. “The course is one of those where small breakaways can get away and get out of sight quite easily and the heat will definitely play a big role as well,” he added.

The Men’s 40-44 category was dominated by KwaZulu-Natal’s Kenton Kirkwood, who posted a time of 38:08.373 over the 27.1km distance. He said: “The conditions today were key, really. In the end it came down to who could suffer for the longest.”

Kirkwood mentioned that the course was very tough, and that the competitors in his category gave him a hard time out there. “It was well ridden by everyone out there today. I’m very happy with my ride – it’s been a tough season already,” he added.

On the discipline itself, Kirkwood said: “We really do enjoy it though, and my sponsors (Bluff Meats Supply) have been very key to this as well. We have a great team in Durban and we are all good friends. We purely do it for the fun of it because we don’t do it for anything else but the passion, which makes it such a pleasure to be here and compete.”

Lucas Marthinus Pheiffer was the Champion in the Men’s 45-49 Time Trial, posting a winning time of 39:26.767. He mentioned that the choice of wheel was a tough one. “The wind wasn’t blowing this morning but then it came up and then it died down again so when I went to the start line I carried two wheels with me,” he added.

His coach advised him on the larger wheel, which ultimately paid off in the end, and Pheiffer claimed the gold medal ahead of Martin van Wyk, and third placed Graham Hulton. “It was three or four kilometres of hard work and the rest of it was with the wind, so it helped with the bigger wheel,” he added.

Lucas Marthinus Pheiffer claimed the gold medal in the Men's 45-49 category Time Trial, with Martin van Wyk in second and Graham Hulton Coker in third at Day 2 of the 2017 SA National Road Championships in Wellington on Wednesday 8 February. Photo: Double ST
This is the first time in a while where Phieffer has had four days of rest before a Road Race – he is used to only two after the Time Trial events. “The best result I’ve had is a fifth place, so hopefully I’ll be able to do a bit better in the Road Race this time,” he concluded.

The Men’s 50-54 age category was the last of the morning session, and Jackie van Eeden dominated his category in a time of 40:00.467. He stood atop the podium ahead of 2016 UCI Gran Fondo World Championship silver medallist Gwyn Pine (second) and Marius Nel in third.

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TIME TRIAL (Morning Session)

Men 30-34
1.Theuns van der Bank 38:28.243
2.Egon Campbell 38:39.800
3.Andrew Stockwell 39:06.960
4.Alex Pavlov 40:02.441
5.Carl van Wyk 41:06.411

Men 35-39
1.Neil Edward William Timm 38:20.948
2.Barend Johannes Marthinus 39:15.320
3.Gert Fouche 39:15.320
4.Deno van Heerden 39:39.208
5.Petrus Oelofse 41:11.862

Men 40-44
1.Kenton Kirkwood 38:08.373
2.Thys Oosthuizen 38:24.932
3.Johann Naude 39:29.741
4.Rob Stewart 39:45.514
5.Nino Oppel 41:00.197

Men 45-49
1.Lucas Marthinus Pheiffer 39:26.767
2.Martin van Wyk 40:09.257
3.Graham Hulton Coker 40:41.254
4.Koos Klopper 41:02.584
5.Daniel Marias 41:23.535

Men 50-54
1.Jackie van Eeden 40:00.467
2.Gwyn Pine 40:39.765
3.Marius Nel 41:01.212
4.Hector Douglas Burger 41:12.388
5.Kenneth Howard Harris 41:32.801