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  1. Odendaal will be riding in three events at the championships, and is feeling confident about his form and preparation leading up to it. “Form wise I think everything is really looking good because of Road champs last week,” he said. Juan Odendaal will be representing South Africa at the 2017 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in the city of Carson, Los Angeles, California from 2-5 March. Photo: DoubleST He claimed the gold medal and much acclaimed National Champion Jersey in both the Time Trial and Road Race in the Men’s C3 category. “I had a great Road champs. It has helped me to set a good base Worlds, and data shows it so I'm happy,” he added.Although feeling like he could improve “here and there” in terms of bike, but he’s hoping to have it all come together in the next week. He said: “I'm very motivated, and have a feeling that this could be a good Worlds and a huge improvement from last year, as long as we progress to the end goal.” Through insights from and discussions with various other track athletes, Odendaal has heard that the track is a quick one, which will help him in his 1km Time Trial and Scratch events. Odendaal heads off on 26 February with Team Manager, Corne Bence, which leaves him ample time to recuperate from jetlag and the flight. “I’m young, so I really still enjoy long travels and flights, I just hope I can rest well before the Championships,” he added. Cycling South Africa’s Para-cycling Commission Director, Estelle van der Merwe, is very confident that Odendaal will make the country proud. “He’s been training very hard – and personally I think this could be the best form he’s ever been in,” she said. Van der Merwe also mentioned how lucky Odendaal was to have such incredible family and friend support. “He’s also been getting some pointers from Paralympian Dane Wilson, and he’s very determined to excel,” she added. Both van Der Merwe joked about the concept of flying for eight hours to California, only to arrive in the ‘past’ and returning to South Africa in the ‘future’. “I’m really proud of what he has accomplished so far and really looking forward to the World Champs,” she concluded. To see the programme schedule, click here: http://www.uci.ch/mm/Document/News/News/18/16/83/10.02.2017ProgrammeLosAngeles_Neutral.pdf For more information about the 2017 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships, see the information bulletin here: http://www.uci.ch/mm/Document/News/News/18/15/48/23.12.2016_CMPara_Piste_Informationbulletin-LA2017_Neutral.pdf
  2. South African C3 track para-cyclist, Juan Odendaal will be representing South Africa when he takes part in the 2017 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in the city of Carson, Los Angeles, California from 2-5 March. Click here to view the article
  3. The full cycling team, which was announced by SASCOC on 19 July, was named as part of the 45-strong Paralympic team representing 10 sporting codes. ROAD CYCLING TEAM Handcycling Ernst van Dyk (H5 class) Justine Asher (H2 Class) Tricycling Goldy Fuchs (T2) Bicycling Craig Ridgard (C2) TRACK CYCLING TEAM Roxanne Burns (C3) Dane Wilson (C5) JC van der Walt – Team Manager Elrick Kulsen – Team Head Coach Pieter Jansen – Team Mechanic Shaun Asher – Assistant to Justine Asher The riders qualified in terms of the national Paralympic team selection criteria, approved by SASCOC, filling the four male and two female slots allocated to South Africa by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). Cycling South Africa is extremely proud of the riders selected for the team and acknowledges their athletic talent and hard work that has got them to this pinnacle of international competition. The achievements of many other riders who have represented South Africa in the various UCI Road and Track competitions during the current Paralympic quadrennial is also gratefully acknowledged; these achievements contributed in no small measure to the tally of nation points earned by South Africa and, on the basis of which, the six slots for the Rio Paralympics were allocated by the IPC. Cycling South Africa’s Para-cycling Commission Director, Dr Mike Burns, said: “Immediately following the conclusion of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Cycling South Africa’s Para-cycling Discipline has had a Rio 2016 strategy in place, aimed at achieving multiple objectives. One of these was to identify and develop the international competitiveness of new Paralympian candidates, in particular female riders. Illustrative in this regard are the achievements and Rio team selection of current double UCI World Champion (time trial, road race), Justine Asher. Her male counterparts, who will be competing in their first Paralympic Games, include Craig Ridgard, Dane Wilson and Goldy Fuchs. “A second objective was to have representation of qualifying track cyclists in the Paralympic team, which has been achieved. In a situation where there are very few UCI international track events, the qualification of Dane Wilson and Roxy Burns for selection to the national Paralympic team is to be celebrated. Arguably the most important objective, still to be obtained, is to have the team return from Rio with multiple medal achievements – to improve on the single medal returned from London 2012.” Whilst the rider-coach relationships and individual efforts fundamentally explain the international competitiveness of the riders selected to the South African Paralympic team, the discipline’s High Performance Plan has also contributed significantly. On the plan’s upstream side, employing an effective technology platform, the capacity of the discipline’s High Performance Manager to track each rider’s weekly training efforts through base, tapering and peaking phases of various competition cycles has proved invaluable. Similarly, on the downstream side, the plan’s technology platform that is used to capture and analyse rider race results has provided a tool that is capable of quantitatively (objectively) measuring performance trends over time. The track events are scheduled for the first week of the Rio Paralympic programme, followed by the road events during the second week. Multiple Paralympian, Ernst van Dyk, will be an invaluable mentor to his road teammates, whilst Roxy Burns, who will be competing in her third Paralympic Games, will provide similar re-assurance to her track teammate, Dane Wilson.
  4. Cycling South Africa congratulates athletes and officials who have been announced by SASCOC (South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee) as part of their South African Paralympic Team for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in September. Click here to view the article
  5. South African Para-cyclists Goldy Fuchs and Stuart McCreadie returned home from Belgium where they competed in round two of the UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup in Ostend at the weekend, with a total of one silver and two bronze medals between them. Click here to view the article
  6. The South African Team’s strategy this year has been to ensure that all the Rio Paralympic candidates have two World Cup experiences in the lead up to the Paralympic Games in September. The home-ground advantage of the opening World Cup round in Pietermaritzburg helped the team tremendously in terms of logistics and travel. The six-rider squad then split into two groups with three attending the World Cup in Ostend, and three to attend the next World Cup in Basque Country, Spain, from 15-17 July. H3 hand cyclist McCreadie brought home a silver medal in the Time Trial and a bronze medal in the Road Race in round two of the UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup in Ostend at the weekend. Photo Credit: Jean-Baptiste Benavent Competing in the Ostend World Cup, Goldy Fuchs (T2), Stuart McCreadie (H3) and Craig Ridgard each executed a personal strategy with fantastic results. Fuchs excelled in the Men’s T2 Time Trial and Road Races where he claimed a bronze medal in the Time Trial and finished fifth in the Road Race, where both events fielded over 20 riders! H3 hand cyclist McCreadie brought home a silver medal in the Time Trial and a bronze medal in the Road Race despite a crash on the final lap of the road race, which saw him lose contact with the front group. He gave all that he had to chase the group down, finishing in third place just three seconds off the pace, and first in the five-rider group that he was in. Ridgard’s tactical approach to racing in the C2 class saw him try out some new tactics with the main objective of staying clear of any danger during his races. Ridgard was very happy with his performance, which he used to gauge himself against his competitors as he prepares to peak at the Paralympics during September. Independent rider Barend van der Walt accompanied the South African team and achieved respectable performances in both the Time Trial and Road Race in the C2 class. Craig Ridgard rode outstandingly well to finish sixth in his Mens C2 Road Race in round two of the UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup in Ostend at the weekend. Photo Credit: Jean-Baptiste Benavent Ernst van Dyk (H5), Justine Asher (H2) and Gerhard Viljoen (T2) now prepare for their European race when they descend upon Basque Country in mid July. Van Dyk will be arriving earlier than the rest of the team to continue a block of his training programme in the region specifically aimed at the Rio Paralympics. Summary of Results – 2016 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup No.2 (Ostend, BEL) Time TrialMH3 1.Charles Moreau (CAN) 27:07.73 2.Stuart McCreadie (RSA) 27:44.65 3.Mischa Hielkema (NED) 28:05.08 MT2 1.Hans-Peter Durst (GER) 29:00.39 2.Ryan Boyle (USA) 31:12.02 3.Goldy Fuchs (RSA) 31:54.01 MC2 1.Tristen Chernove (CAN) 24:42.09 2.Colin Lynch (IRL) 24:56.07 3.Simon Antony Price (GBR) 25:01.58 11.Craig Ridgard (RSA) 27:11.20 13.Barend van der Walt (RSA) 28:17.24 Road Race MH3 1.Mischa Hielkema (NED) 01:40:46 2.Paolo Cecchetto (ITA) 01:40:46 3.Stuart McCreadie (RSA) 01:40:49 MT2 1.Hans-Peter Durst (GER) 00:45:28 2.David Stone (GBR) 00:45:30 3.Giorgio Farroni (ITA) 00:47:21 5.Goldy Fuchs (RSA) 00:48:19 MC2 1.Tristen Chernove (CAN) 01:43:31 2.Francois Lacroix (FRA) 01:46:24 3.Victor Hugo Garrido Marquez (VEN) 01:46:24 6.Craig Ridgard (RSA) 01:46:24 12.Barend van der Walt (RSA) 01:50:19
  7. The 36-year-old, who was the only South African among the six nominees in his category, joined the likes of Usain Bolt and Lionel Messi at the awards function, which recognises remarkable sporting achievements. Du Preez at a paracycling World Cup event at Yverdonne les Baines in Switzerland last year. Photo: Supplied The University of Johannesburg alumnus and actuarial analyst at Deloitte said it was an incredible experience. “It’s been a real blessed last couple of years with lots of hard work involved. To represent my country at the awards was really special.” Du Preez said he was often seen as an inspiration by his peers, but to be recognised on the world stage was a huge honour. “When I received the nomination, my friends and family were ecstatic – especially my wife. I had incredible support from the whole country.” The only quadriplegic in history to have completed an Ironman triathlon won gold medals in the time-trial and road races in the H1 Class at the Para-Cycling world road championships in Switzerland last August. Now a veteran of three Ironman events, the Randburg resident said it was a “journey every time”. “For the level of function I have, it still surprises most people that I can do it. It’s very special to be the first to do something as it can never be taken away from you.” Du Preez’s life changed when he was involved in a cycling accident during his honours year at UJ. “A car hit me and left me a C6 quadriplegic, which means I can only move my wrists, biceps, neck and shoulders. UJ were incredibly supportive and still are.” He has not let anything get in the way of his success and planned to raise the bar even higher. “I have achieved a lot, but there is always more. Getting to Rio is on my list – as is medalling there.” The marathon world record, some track world records and a sub 12-hour Ironman were other big goals, he said. The Wings for Life World Run ambassador said he trained anything from two to five hours per day and seven days a week. “It depends on what event is up next. For the Ironman, it has gone up to 35 hours a week. “The hardest and most important part is recovering,” said Du Preez, who works three-quarter days. When it comes to motivation, he said he focused on inspiration. “We all have the power to inspire. A simple smile at the supermarket or telling someone ‘good job’ at work can change that person’s day. “I inspire, sure, but my supporters telling me how I’m inspiring motivates me more than I think I do them,” said Du Preez. “Remember, when a bad thing happens, it’s an opportunity to be great.”
  8. Para-athlete Pieter Du Preez rubbed shoulders with the best in the sporting business when he attended the 17th Laureus World Sports Awards in Berlin last month. Click here to view the article
  9. The man to beat in the H4 race was Polish World Champion Rafal Wilk who displayed dominance from the get go, taking the lead and never looking back at the 2016 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup at Alexandra Park, Pietermaritzburg, on Sunday 8 May. Photo Credit: Darren Goddard The road races kicked off in the unrelenting rain with the Hi-H2 hand cycles and the trikes competing in between two to six laps of the 6.5-kilometre circuit. Poland’s Rafal Mikolajczyk claimed the victory in the Men H1 race in 01:33:01, while Israeli Yaakov Kobi Lion won the H2 race in 01:25:06. World Champion Justine Asher continued her fine form to win the Women’s H2 race in 01:07:19 with Poland claiming yet another victory when Renata Kaluza won the H3 race in 01:06:51. Gold Fuchs claimed his second gold medal of the event with a solid victory over compatriot Gerhard Viljoen in the T2 tricycle race, while Jay Lapointe (USA) and Toni Mould (RSA) claimed top UCI points in their respective T1 races. After the short break, the Men’s H3, H4 and H5 classes took to the streets in their eight-lap races totalling 49.20 kilometres on the wet and technical course. The man to beat in the H4 race was Polish World Champion Rafal Wilk who displayed dominance from the get go, taking the lead and never looking back. His impressive performance saw him claim the gold medal by five minutes over second placed compatriot Arkadiusz Skrzypinski. Skrzypinski spoke highly of his African experience despite the poor racing weather conditions. “I’ve had a fantastic week here, training in the sun, eating the world's best beef and tasting some very good wine. Unfortunately, the weekend weather was not the best, which is probably what deterred the fans. 2016 is the year of the Olympic Games so unfortunately, many teams decided to save money and did not participate here, but I loved the hard racing, and there were many fantastic athletes here. Rafal won both his races and I finished second twice – I’m very happy and our preparations for Rio are going well.” South African sporting icon, Ernst van Dyk, blitzed the 49.20-kilometre H5 race and claimed the gold medal at the 2016 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup at Alexandra Park, Pietermaritzburg, on Sunday 8 May. Photo Credit: Darren Goddard South African sporting icon, Ernst van Dyk, blitzed the 49.20-kilometre race and claimed the gold medal in the H5 race against Portugal’s Luis Miguel Costa by three-and-a-half minutes. Van Dyk made a break as he powered up the hill on the third lap, dropping Costa and snapping the elastic band. By the fourth lap he had already created a cushion of 40 seconds. “I started a bit slower to get into the groove of things so I rode with the other guys and warmed up a bit. I managed to get a gap on Luis Costa and pushed the pace as fast as I could and tried to lift my average speed. The conditions were rough with lots of gravel and it was wet and you couldn't easily see the potholes, but that’s racing and you have to make the most of it. After I got away, I basically rode a six-lap Time Trial, it was tough but I am happy with the win and my performance.” Stuart McCreadie launched his attack on the final lap of the H3 raceand managed to break away from Austrian Walter Ablinger at the 2016 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup at Alexandra Park, Pietermaritzburg, on Sunday 8 May. Photo Credit: Darren Goddard Fellow South African, Stuart McCreadie, added to the excitement in the H3 event when he launched his attack on the final lap and managed to break away from Austrian Walter Ablinger to seal the victory by over a minute. McCreadie made a break earlier in the race and put in a significant gap of 40-50 metres, but Ablinger reeled him in again. He then attacked on the last lap where it counted and made a significant break to take the victory. “We pulled ahead a little bit and worked together for six or seven laps and then it was everyone for himself on the last lap. I’m happy with how it went,” he said. Declan Slevin (IRL) and Edward Maalouf (LIB) were also locked in a battle throughout the H3 race. It was Slevin who won the battle and rounded out the podium. The Men and Women’s tandem races were won by the Irish pairing of Damien Vereker and Marcin Mizgajski, and Adamantia Chalkiadaki and Argyro Milaki from Greece respectively. The C-class races ended off the day’s racing in extremely wet conditions as the rain continues to fall throughout the late afternoon. American Matthew Bigos won the 61.5-kilometre C1 race in 01:43:03, while South African Craig Ridgard secured the win in the C2 race by nearly a minute and Juan Odendaal claimed top UCI points in the C3 race. Competing in 11 laps (67.70 kilometres), Slovakian Jozef Metelka found success once again after dominating the Time Trial the previous day as well. “Yesterday’s TT was successful for me and I really enjoyed the track. I thought it would be the same track as last year but it was the road race track. I enjoyed it – it was a little bit different but fortunately for me I didn’t puncture so I could fight for the gold and was very happy to get it at the end. I had to pedal up the hill and push it more and then keep the speed on the flat, so it was perfect. The weather was really good for me, as I don’t enjoy the heat. Today’s race was awesome; it started really well and I tried to power it more and more and on the fourth or fifth lap I pushed it to see where it would take me and fortunately it took me to first place,” he said. Slovakian Jozef Metelka found success in the Men C4 road race once again after dominating the Time Trial the previous day at the 2016 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup at Alexandra Park, Pietermaritzburg, on Sunday 8 May. Photo Credit: Darren Goddard Frenchman Dorian Foulon won the 67.70km C5 race in 01:40:18, while South Africans Vicky Scheepers and Estelle van der Merwe scored maximum points in their C4 and C5 races respectively. SASCOC (South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee) Executive Committee Member, Merrill King, spoke about her experience of the Para-cycling Road World Cup. “It is such an emotional leveller – you see people who have come up against incredible odds and they are out there doing things with their bodies that some of us don’t even embark on. To get themselves from all over the world, like Poland and Austria, to get to South Africa doesn't come without its own set of challenges and they go out there with such courage. Everyone is so supportive of our three major sports in the country, yet they should be lining the streets to support these amazing athletes at this world-class event right here in Pietermaritzburg. I’m incredibly humbled by all of these athletes.” Costa Rican Leonel Solis (front) and Jerry Towey (IRL) finished second and third in the Men C4 road race at the 2016 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup at Alexandra Park, Pietermaritzburg, on Sunday 8 May. Photo Credit: Darren Goddard Cycling South Africa’s President, William Newman, said that the Federation was very proud to be hosting another Para-cycling Road World Cup event. “Following from last year’s event, this has once again been very inspirational and a huge success and it’s great to get the support from the City of Pietermaritzburg and the Department of Sport and Recreation KwaZulu-Natal in hosting events like this. We are grateful that they are our partners. Austrian Patrick Hagenaars rounded out the podium when he finished third in the Men's C5 road race at the 2016 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup at Alexandra Park, Pietermaritzburg, on Sunday 8 May. Photo Credit: Darren Goddard “It’s a very important event for our riders because it gave more local riders a chance to participate in an international event, which is a positive aspect of our sport as we are creating international opportunities for our riders. And for our Olympic hopefuls, it is great preparation as they can gauge where they are with their planning and their fitness at the Para World Cup. Not even the weather has detracted from the quality of the event and the quality of the racing here this weekend. Well done to everyone!”Pietermaritzburg played host to the 2015 and 2016 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cups and next year will host the blue ribbon event – the 2017 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships where the best of the best will all be in attendance for a chance to claim the World Championship title in the streets of Pietermaritzburg. More information and full results can be found here: http://www.cyclingsa.com/2016-uci-para-road-world-cup/. Summary of Results – 2016 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup Sunday 8 May – Road RacesMen H1 (4 laps = 24.60km) 1.Rafal Mikolajczyk (POL) 01:33:01 2.Ernst Bachmeier (AUT) 01:38:34 Men H2 (6 laps = 36.90km) 1.Yaakov Kobi Lion (ISRL) 01:25:06 2.Wolfgang Schattauer (AUT) 01:31:12 3.Yaw Korsah (GHA) -1 lap Women H2 (4 laps = 24.60km) 1.Justine Asher (RSA) 01:07:19 2.Ciara Staunton (IRL) 01:10:16 Women H3 (5 laps = 30.75km) 1.Renata Kaluza (POL) 01:06:51 2.Palesa Manaleng (RSA) 01:25:45 Men T2 (4 laps = 24.60km) 1.Goldy Fuchs (RSA) 00:45:57 2.Gerhard Viljoen (RSA) 00:48:10 3.Steven Peace (USA) 00:54:05 Men T1 (3 laps = 18.45km) 1.Jay Lapointe (USA) 01:02:36 Women T1 (3 laps = 18.45km) 1.Toni Mould (RSA) 01:11:28 Men H4 (8 laps = 49.20km) 1.Rafal Wilk (POL) 01:21:22 2.Arkadiusz Skrzypinski (POL) 01:26:20 3.Alexander Gritsch (AUT) -1 lap Men H5 (8 laps = 49.20km) 1.Ernst van Dyk (RSA) 01:24:08 2.Luis Miguel Costa (POR) 01:27:30 3.Andries Scheepers (RSA) 01:32:42 Men H3 (8 laps = 49.20km) 1.Stuart McCreadie (RSA) 01:24:45 2.Walter Ablinger (AUT) 01:26:01 3.Declan Slevin (IRL) -1 lap Men B (13 laps = 80km) 1.Damien Vereker & Marcin Mizgajski (IRL) 01:50:36 2.Martin Gordon & Ian Inglis (IRL) 01:52:19 3.Przemyslaw Wegner & Artur Korc (POL) 01:57:06 Women B (11 laps = 67.70km) 1.Adamantia Chalkiadaki & Argyro Milaki (GRE) 01:59:11 Men C1 (10 laps = 61.50km) 1.Matthew Bigos (USA) 01:43:03 2.Andreas Zirkl (AUT) -1 lap 3.Georg Schwab (AUT) -1 lap Men C2 (10 laps = 61.50km) 1.Craig Ridgard (RSA) 01:40:36 2.Victor Hugo Garrido Marquez (VEN) 01:41:17 3.Roger Bolliger (SUI) 01:41:17 Men C3 (10 laps = 61.50km) 1.Juan Odendaal (RSA) 01:48:18 Men C4 (11 laps = 67.70km) 1.Jozef Metelka (SVK) 01:37:23 2.Leonel Solis (CRC) -1 lap 3.Jerry Towey (IRL) -1 lap Men C5 (11 laps = 67.70km) 1.Dorian Foulon (FRA) 01:40:18 2.Gavin Cowden (RSA) -1 lap 3.Patrick Hagenaars (AUT) -5 laps Women C4 (7 laps = 43.05km) 1.Vicky Scheepers (RSA) 01:26:24 Women C5 (7 laps = 43.05km) 1.Estelle van der Merwe (RSA) 01:26:22
  10. For the majority of cyclists, racing competitively in wet, treacherous rainy conditions would be enough to raise the senses of fear and adrenalin. The experience and privilege today however of watching Para-cyclists from across the globe racing for gold and also for points to keep Rio Olympic dreams and hopes alive, was not only invigorating and challenging, but instilled immense respect and sheer admiration for these incredible athletes who will stop at nothing to achieve both personal and team honours. Click here to view the article
  11. Van Dyk’s talents extend beyond just cycling and he is equally highly resected in the athletics discipline as well. He stays on top of his game despite crossing over from wheelchair racing to hand cycling, and vice versa. The ten-time Boston Marathon winner said of the two sporting codes: “They were both super competitive, and I’m happy with my results overseas, but then again I think you’re kind of expected to do well in this Paralympic year,” he said. 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games’ gold medallist, Ernst van Dyk (front) heads to Pietermaritzburg for the opening round of the 2016 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup, which takes place in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, from 7-8 May. Photo: Darren Goddard Although a cold front is predicted to hit Africa’s Bike City this coming weekend, Van Dyk doesn’t seem too phased about the weather. “I don’t mind the cooler weather, but having said that, it is a little bit tougher to get going when it isn’t warm. It takes much longer for our bodies to warm up, the air is denser, so everything is slower, and we have to work much harder, so it’s never pleasant in the cold. But I’ll be happier if there isn’t any wind – that makes everything difficult,” he said. Van Dyk is delighted to see the first round of the World Cup in his own country, which is a feeling not often describable by athletes in any sporting discipline playing a home game. “It’s going to be a great one,” he said. The H5 hand-cyclist is looking forward to battling it out for important UCI World Cup points in this ever-important Paralympic season, even though the field this year will be slightly smaller. “Because a lot of the athletes have had to be specific this year in terms of the chosen races, many have opted not to come to the first World Cup, which is a little bit disappointing, but the field is still awesome and we have a large national team competing, which is fantastic as well,” he added. Opting out of the next World Cup round in Belgium, Van Dyk is now fully focused on the Rio Paralympics. “I have decided to give Belgium a miss and put in some solid preparation instead. So next for me will be the World Cup in Spain in mid July, and then after that, Rio,” he concluded. The opening round of the 2016 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup takes place at Alexandra Park in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 May. More information can be found here: http://www.cyclingsa.com/2016-uci-para-road-world-cup/. Spectators are welcome to come and support the local and international riders that will be participating, and the pit area is open for people to meet their cycling heroes. For those that cannot attend, the full days’ racing will be live streamed on www.streamit360.tv.
  12. Although having now returned from the busyness of wheelchair racing abroad, the pace has by no means lessened for the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games’ gold medallist, Ernst van Dyk, who now heads to Pietermaritzburg for this weekend’s UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup at Alexandra Park from 7-8 May. Click here to view the article
  13. The opening round of the 2016 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup takes place this year in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, from 7-8 May. Double T1 South African National Para-cycling Time Trial & Road Race Champion, Toni Mould, is thrilled to be taking part in her second World Cup event, and looks forward to enjoying the experience with friends and family who are travelling from far and wide to come and support her. Click here to view the article
  14. “This will be my second World Cup, my first being last year’s World Cup in Pietermaritzburg, so the honour of wearing the South African kit is still fresh for me. Apart from that, the fact that my parents, aunt and uncle are traveling up to watch me for the first time is really special for us as a family. My family don’t live close to me so neither of them have seen me cycling in any kind of race, so for them to see me in the SA colours at a World Cup for their first time will be really special,” she said. Double T1 South African National Para-cycling Time Trial & Road Race Champion, Toni Mould, is looking forward to the excitement of the opening round of the 2016 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup, which takes place this year in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, from 7-8 May. Photo: Darren Goddard Mould says that she is still trying to reach her desired speeds on the trike, and would like to “really” compete with others in her class, but each competition that she does is a strive to better the performance of the one before. “Last week I had to kind of relook at my goals for this World Cup when I found out that I’ll be the only woman in my class competing. So instead of trying to beat others, I’ll have to challenge myself to go for the best time I can,” said Mould.“There are two other World Cups overseas this year but I don’t know if I’m at that level yet. I’ll see what happens for the rest of the year. I would love to go to the overseas World Cups or even the 2017 World Champs in Pietermaritzburg, but I first have to work hard and prove myself,” she added. When asked what part of cycling makes her happy, Mould said: “Being able to be active and challenge myself on a physical level. As I have difficulty moving around, the sense of being ‘free’ and being able to move with relative ease is a wonderful feeling.” Although feeling that she cannot compare the hosting of a World Cup in South Africa to one overseas, as she is yet to travel to an international World Cup event, her experience of last year’s Pietermaritzburg event was described as “very special”. “It not only gives us the chance to have our nearest and dearest come and watch, but we have so much support from the home crowd. One of my dearest memories of last year was racing through the town of Pietermaritzburg in the road race and having people sitting out on their ‘stoeps’ and cheering every rider, but especially the South African riders! Even the marshals got in on the action and shouted ‘Go South Africa’ when you passed them. I am so glad we are riding that route again this year.” Mould concluded on a very important statement: “Bringing events such as this to South Africa is so important to help break down the negative stereotypes surrounding people with disabilities as well as motivating the next generation to get involved in sport. “Thank you to Cycling SA for the opportunity to take part and all those responsible for bringing the World Cup to South Africa.” The opening round of the 2016 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup takes place at Alexandra Park in Pietermaritzburg from 7-8 May. More information can be found here: http://www.cyclingsa.com/2016-uci-para-road-world-cup/.
  15. The first leg of the 2016 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup takes place this year in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, from 7-8 May. 2016 Laureus Awards Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability Nominee, Pieter “Supapiet” du Preez, is currently taking part in athletics races in Europe before attending the Awards ceremony in Berlin on 19 April. Click here to view the article
  16. Du Preez is feeling good ahead of his season, and talks about focus, balance and the importance of hosting the UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup in South Africa. Double World Champion, Pieter du Preez, is looking forward to South Africa's hosting of the first leg of the 2016 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup in Pietermaritzburg from 7-8 May. Photo: Darren Goddard. “Supapiet” has for the past three years been an ambassador for the Wings For Life World Run, a fund-raising event for spinal-cord injury research, which takes place this year on 8 May. It is for this reason that he will only be taking part in the World Cup Time Trial event on 7 May. “I’m still looking forward to the Time Trial, I’ll be in fairly good shape and it will be interesting to see what happens on the day,” he said. Travel, cycling, athletics, and work, all require time and energy, and the double World Champion shared his secrets on how to balance it all: “For me, doing all three sporting disciplines of swimming, cycling and running has been a lifestyle and a way of training over the last couple of years. They sort of really help each other out so, I think because I’ve been doing it for so long, my coach and I have learned how to make it work. Pushing the travel in in between does make things a bit harder but you do learn how to travel over the years, and learn how to sleep on the plane. I think it’s really just a case of how you manage your time – doing all of that and working at the same time.” Du Preez mentioned that this year, his H1 hand-cycling category event is not included in the Paralympic calendar, and for this reason his major focus is on being selected for the Rio Paralympic team for Athletics. “So I’m actually training a little bit more than I would’ve planned for this year, but nevertheless, things are going well, my form is looking good, and I’m really excited for what the season holds. So let’s see what happens,” he said. On hosting the first leg of the Para-cycling Road World Cup on home soil, Du Preez said: “Having the first World Cup in South Africa, I must say, whether first or last or any time of the year, is just amazing. For us as athletes, to race in your own home country is always an honour and a pleasure. Also once again for the athletes who can come and compete as independents and get an opportunity to get the experience of a World Cup and get valuable information from all the other athletes racing in the race. For me that’s the great part about it. “More importantly, it counts for double UCI points for Paralympic qualification so for the guys in the Paralympic squad, it’s very important to get your rankings as high as possible so that you get a very good starting slot in the Time Trial. Not having to travel overseas and being able to perform at your best is just the absolute drawing card for all of us here, so yip it’s incredible to race at home.” Du Preez revealed how great the honour is to be part of the National Team yet because the event is early in the season, some riders may be focused on the preparation for Rio and have a different plan approaching the World Cup. “In terms of the new guys, this is definitely a huge opportunity to put up their hands and show what they can do. I hope that they go out and just do it. Hopefully we will see a lot of medals for South Africa at this World Cup,” he said. Having the exposure of a Para-cycling Road World Cup in South Africa, Du Preez is well aware of the awareness and visibility of the sport created in the country. “And obviously to the locals in Pietermaritzburg, it’s of huge importance to the growth of our sport. It’s an absolute privilege that we can host the event this year again. And also the World Champs next year, which is going to create even greater awareness of the sport of Para-cycling, so it’s very exciting for us,” he concluded. The opening round of the 2016 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup takes place at Alexandra Park in Pietermaritzburg from 7-8 May. More information can be found here: http://www.cyclingsa.com/2016-uci-para-road-world-cup/.
  17. Participants of the 2016 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup taking place in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, from 7-8 May, will gain considerable opportunities to earn high numbers of UCI points at the season opener in the all-important Paralympic year. Click here to view the article
  18. Participants of the 2016 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup taking place in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, from 7-8 May, will gain considerable opportunities to earn high numbers of UCI points at the season opener in the all-important Paralympic year. Photo credit: Darren Goddard The UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) is awarding double the number of UCI points than usual for the Pietermaritzburg event, which is sure to entice international riders to visit our shores for the race. Cycling South Africa’s Para-cycling Commission Director, Dr Mike Burns, said: “Although the Rio 2016 slots allocated to South Africa are close to being filled, finality in this regard will only be reached after the Pietermaritzburg and one or both of the European World Cups that follow. The earmarked Rio Paralympic squad riders will need to demonstrate that they are on track during the 2016 competition season to indicate their potential for Rio. The Pietermaritzburg World Cup is therefore important in this respect.” Being hosted locally, the event allows South Africa to enter a relatively big national team; Simon Makgobela will be on the start line of the 2016 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup taking place in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, from 7-8 May. Photo credit: Darren Goddard Being hosted locally, the event allows South Africa to enter a relatively big national team. This provides excellent opportunities for riders aspiring to perform well in the 2017 season (including the World Championships to be hosted in Pietermaritzburg) to be noticed and accounted for. The same reasoning applies for independent South African riders who enter, potentially putting themselves on the map in terms of a shot at inclusion in the National Team for next year. “In the above context, the stakes are high for all riders involved, irrespective of the turn out by international riders,” concluded Dr Burns. More information on the 2016 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup Pietermaritzburg can be found here: http://www.cyclingsa.com/2016-uci-para-road-world-cup/.
  19. While Track cyclists are planning for the upcoming 2016 SA National Track, Para-cycling and Omnium Championships take place at the Westbourne Cycling Track in Port Elizabeth from 28 March to 3 April, South African Para-cyclists Roxy Burns (C3), Dane Wilson (C5) and Juan Odendaal (C3) are gearing up for a bigger event on the global cycling calendar. The upcoming 2016 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships, which takes place at the Fassa Bortolo Veledrom in Montichiari, Italy from 17-18 March, will offer them the greatest preparation for their National Champs race this season. Click here to view the article
  20. Preparations are going particularly well for Odendaal. “I'm feeling good, my motivation is sky high and there is a lot of self belief because of Rio 2016,” he said. C3 Para-cyclist, Roxy burns, will join C3 Juan Odendaal and C5 Dane Wilson as they head to the 2016 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in Italy next week, just ahead of the 2016 SA National Track, Para-cycling and Omnium Championships which take place at the Westbourne Cycling Track in Port Elizabeth from 28 March to 3 April. Photo: Craig Dutton Odendaal says that the team feels a sense that World Champs is their last chance to give it full-gas and the last chance to qualify for the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games in September. “The thought of the Paralympics really helps with my training and mind-set. Going to the Bellville Velodrome for our training camp is going to be super awesome getting good quality track time in is going to be valuable. It will really help with setting goals and chasing times. Focusing with the team will also help me a lot.” When asked about the SA National Track Championships, Odendaal said: “I'm going to just ride my lungs and legs out of my body. It’s the SA Champs so I want to make the best of it, giving it my all and leaving everything that I have on the track.” Odendaal says that his level of motivation will not fall after the World Champs as the goals he is chasing are to get under 1:15 in the 1KM and 4:00 in the 3KM. “With the nature elements, anything can happen but I’m pushing myself everyday. With the right mind-set anything can happen on the day,” he said. Twenty-six-year-old Burns has been working on the technical aspect of her racing, which is an area where she felt that she struggled last year. “Last year was a disaster (internationally) so I’m looking forward to putting it behind me with a good performance. I know I can, it must just all come together on the day, but I am very happy with my progress,” she said. South Africa's Juan Odendaal (C3) is feeling ready and well prepared ahead of World Champs in Italy next week, and looks forward to the 2016 SA National Track, Para-cycling and Omnium Championships which take place at the Westbourne Cycling Track in Port Elizabeth from 28 March to 3 April. Photo: Craig Dutton The team will assemble at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport in Stellenbosch on Friday 11 March. Burns said: “I think our focus on Friday will be on the Team Sprint (TS). Since we are from all over the country, we rarely get the opportunity to train together for the TS. “In 2011, Team South Africa got a top six position and I think that if we train together we can attain that again if not higher. For Rio, we probably won’t have enough riders for a TS, but a top 10 at my last World Champs event would be amazing!” Burns mentioned that her programme has her peaking (performance-wise) at World Champs, as selection for the 2016 Rio Paralympics is based on the times that will be set in Italy. Cycling South Africa’s Para-cycling Commission Director, Dr Mike Burns, said: “We are making extraordinary arrangements to prepare the team for the World Champs. The riders will assemble in Stellenbosch on Friday and will have some intensive sessions on the Bellville Velodrome, honing their skills for their individual races and for the team sprint. The Stellenbosch Academy of Sport is very generously sponsoring their stay at the Academy.” The 2016 SA National Track, Para-cycling and Omnium Championships take place at the Westbourne Cycling Track in Port Elizabeth from 28 March to 3 April, with the SA Track and Para-cycling Championships running from Monday 28 March to Friday 1 April and the SA Omnium Championships running from Saturday 2 to Sunday 3 April. For more information about the event, click here: http://www.cyclingsa.com/2016-sa-track-champs/ or contact info@ectrackcycling.co.za. Entries are open. To enter, click here: http://www.ectrackcycling.co.za/SA-Championships-Omnium/
  21. UCI Para-cycling World Cup gold medallist, Goldy Fuchs, is feeling physically and mentally ready for the upcoming 2016 SA Time Trial and Road Race National Championships, which take place in just over a week. The event will witness the country’s top para-cyclists who are ready for the challenges that the KwaZulu-Natal racing circuits will present. Click here to view the article
  22. The para-cycling Time Trial and Road Race will be held in the Wartburg/ Noodsburg/ Harburg area on 10 and 11 February. UCI Para-cycling World Cup gold medallist, Goldy Fuchs, is feeling physically and mentally ready for the upcoming 2016 SA Time Trial and Road Race National Championships, which take place in KwaZulu-Natal from 10-14 February. Photo: © Darren Goddard “I am feeling very strong on my bike and in my mind,” said Fuchs. “I was fortunate to have a sponsor upgrade my bike to Shimano Di2 electronic gears, and they work great. My mind is bullet proof – I don't allow any negativity to enter my mind.” Fuchs mentioned that his biggest goal this year would be to qualify for the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games: “In order to do that, I need to do well at Nationals. I also want to defend my World Cup gold medal in the road race at the UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup in Pietermaritzburg, coming up in May 2016.” The 24-year-old Capetonian has been working hard with his trainer, Boyd Roberts, who has been monitoring his progress. “We work closely together, looking at my fitness and fatigue levels carefully and then work out my training programme accordingly, making sure I peak at the right times,” he added. Cycling South Africa’s Para-cycling Commission Director, Dr. Mike Burns said: “Cycling South Africa has a very high regard for the country's Para-cycling community, especially in terms of the international accolades that national teams achieve, and for which the country is highly respected globally. Accounting also for some remarkable able body cycling achievements in 2015, it is clear that South African competitive cycling is currently on a very positive trajectory.” For information about exquisite accommodation venues, please visit the Cycling SA Website. Entries are now closed. For event information, please visit http://www.cyclingsa.com/2016-sa-road-champs/, or contact Kelvin du Sart on kzncycling@iafrica.com 082 446 9833, or Michelle Matthews on matthewsmichelle68@gmail.com 084 407 5566.
  23. After the 2015 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup leg in Pietermaritzburg, the H2 hand cyclist took a six-week “forced rest” from a shoulder injury. “It’s not always a bad thing, as it allows you to take a break and refocus,” she said. Asher is ready for Nationals, but remains Rio-focused: “My coach has designed a programme for me specifically so that I don’t peak at SA Champs, as it is so early in the year and my major focus is Rio Paralympics. “It’s all part of the training process to see where I am and determine where I need to be this season,” she added. Double UCI World Champion and South African Champion Justine Asher will be part of the admired line-up for the 2016 SA National Para-cycling Road Championships, which take place this year in Wartburg, KwaZulu-Natal, from 10-11 February. Photo: Craig Dutton Asher mentioned that she was also looking rather forward to the UCI World Cups this year – especially as South Africa will host the opening round in Pietermaritzburg. “Last year was so wonderful and to be honest, one of the best World Cups I’ve been to. It’s on par with a lot of the international events and South Africa is more than capable of hosting more fantastic events like this,” said Asher. Cycling South Africa’s Para-cycling Commission Director, Dr Mike Burns, said: “There is no doubt that the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games adds something special to this year's Para-cycling National Championships. For riders already nominated to the provisional Rio squad, the Championships are the first competition event of 2016 that provide an opportunity to allow baseline performances to be established from which progress will be made by riders selected for the Paralympic team towards peak performances at Rio in September.” Burns also commented on the success of last year’s UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup held in South Africa. “It clearly highlighted the remarkable level of competitiveness within SA Para-cycling. Both seasoned and new members of the national team that competed in the World Cup achieved outstanding results. “South Africa was placed in the top-five nations in terms of the medal tally for the event, ahead of many Para-cycling heavyweight nations such as Great Britain, Spain and the Netherlands. Also, having globally iconic riders like Ernst van Dyk and double UCI World Champions Pieter du Preez and Justine Asher competing and performing exceptionally well on home soil was something for all South African cycling enthusiasts to be immensely proud of,” he said. It is good to be reminded of the 2015 UCI Para-cycling World Cup, since the 2016 edition will be held once again in Pietermaritzburg in May this year. Burns also stated that selections for the national team that will be entered for this event would be based on rider performances at the National Championships (click here to see selection policy). “There are, therefore, high stakes involved in this year's National Championships, and it can be expected that riders will put in every effort to perform well in order to be considered for selection to the national team,” concluded Burns. The 2016 SA National Road, Time Trial and Para-cycling Championships take place in KwaZulu-Natal from 10-14 February. All riders wishing to take part must hold a Full Racing Licence, for riders from the age of 17-years-old wishing to be eligible for provincial and national selection and championship. Two great venues will play host to the event, with the Time Trial and Para-cycling division being held in the Wartburg/ Noodsburg/ Harburg area from 10-11 February, and the Road Races taking place in Westville/ Durban from 13-14 February. For information about exquisite accommodation venues, please visit the Cycling SA Website. Online pre-entries are open, and close on Monday 1 February 2016 at midnight. Click here to enter: https://entries.cyclingsa.com/. For event information, please visit http://www.cyclingsa.com/2016-sa-road-champs/, or contact Kelvin du Sart on kzncycling@iafrica.com 082 446 9833, or Michelle Matthews on matthewsmichelle68@gmail.com 084 407 5566.
  24. Double UCI World Champion and South African Champion Justine Asher will be part of the admired line-up for the 2016 SA National Para-cycling Road Championships, which take place this year in Wartburg, KwaZulu-Natal, from 10-11 February. The event is expected to pull crowds from around the country to support their favourite South African Road and Para-cycling athletes. Click here to view the article
  25. In the most ideal cycling conditions and after such competitive cycling over the last two days, the final day of the UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup in Pietermaritzburg delivered the most incredible performances from such dedicated and professional cyclists during Sunday’s road racing programme. Alongside the effort of the cyclists and their support teams, immense effort has been made throughout the event to stage what has been in may instances one of the highest quality Para-cycling events across the world. Click here to view the article
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