Five provinces took part in the series this year, which consisted of three legs that were held in Cape Town, Durban and Gauteng between 22 August and 23 November. Western Province, Winelands, KwaZulu-Natal, Free State and Gauteng competed head-to-head in each of the events to determine the winning province. It was Western Province who were the victors, with Gauteng second and KZN third.
Provincial teams were made up of four endurance riders, three sprinters and four women, with the competition being mainly in the Team Pursuit and Team Sprint events. Riders competed in their provincial colours and as provincial teams. The rampant Western province team made a clean sweep in the women’s race with multiple National Champion, Maroesjka Matthee, the star rider. They were also dominant in the Sprint events with three of the country’s top sprinters represented.
“The President’s Cup is the start of great things for Track cycling,” said Cycling South Africa Track Commission Director, Johan Smith. “The 2015 dates have already been confirmed and will be announced soon. The 2014 President’s Cup was well-supported by the Track cycling community, and provided a platform for our cyclists to unleash their talent in a racing environment.”
Separate to the President’s Cup but held on the same weekend was the Grand Prix events, which gave the individuals a chance to race for their clubs or teams. They are awarded on their individual achievements.
“Apart from the SA National Track Champs and the SA Omnium Champs, there are now an additional three events where the top riders can compete against each other during the year,” continued Smith. “It is also a great way to develop new talent. The concept is working very well. We now have a base on which to create a ranking for our sprinters and endurance riders, and a way to formalise these statistics.”
The same competition was started for the veterans’ categories and three provinces competed in the Vets competition this year. These were Western Province, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, with the winning province being Gauteng.
The confirmed provinces that will take part in the 2015 President’s Cup series are the Western Cape, KZN, Free State, Gauteng and Eastern Cape.
Cycling SA President, William Newman, said: “The President’s Cup Interprovincial series is an event of huge stature and as the President of Cycling SA I fully endorse and support the event and I want to see it growing to an annual series with events around the country. There is huge honour in representing one’s province and the President’s Cup event is a way of recognising such achievements. No doubt it is a breeding ground for our future stars as many riders will go on to represent our country internationally. I congratulate WP on winning the inaugural competition but at the same time challenge the other provinces to work even harder to challenge them next year. To those provinces that have not entered a team this year, I challenge them to prepare for the competition next year and give their riders the opportunity to challenge for the honours.
“I commend the track commission under the guidance of Johan Smith for making these events happen. I know there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes and there is still more work to come with the ambitious plans we have for Track.”