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De Villiers eyes national title
- Updated: March 19, 2009
Multiple SA Champion and fourth-place finisher at the 2008 World Triathlon Championships, Hendrick de Villiers, will lead a strong field in the title chase for national honours in Germiston on Saturday.
De Villiers showed he was getting back into shape with an empahtic win in the Nestle Pure Life/Bar One Johannesburg Triathlon Series on 22 February over the same route that the South African Championships will run on. But chasing at the bit to prevent De Villiers from winning yet another SA Title are a whole host of youngsters amongst them Erhardt Wolfaardt, Stuart Marais, Dutchman Sander Berg and Cape Town’s Kent Horner.
De Villiers admitted after his sixth-place finish at the 11 Global Triathlon in Cape Town on 1 March that he was not yet in the kind of shape that would allow him to race two weekends in row but that he would be ready come Nationals. Such is the class of De Villiers, that it is likely that the rest of the field will be feeding off him and he in all likelihood the tactics on deployed on the day will be determined by De Villiers.
Kent Horner has been racing incredibly well this year. He recently won the SA Long Distance Selection race, the Bonitas Sunday Tribune Midlands Ultra Triathlon on 15 February. Horner also looked in impressive shape at the 11 Global making his opposition sit up and take notice. The Capetonian took the lead on the cycle leg and was moving away from the rest of the field with the exception of Dann Brook who had been training in Stellenbosch for six weeks.
Horner will be very dangerous as he is in race shape, looking to race in the two Xterra’s after the SA Championships. Erhardt Wofaardt was unstoppable in the last six of the seven BSG Energade Triathlon races in 2008 as well as the 11 Global in Sun City in November of 2008. According to coach Libby Burrel, Erhardt needs to go back into base training but the youngster is always dangerous and the SA Championships should prove to be no different.┬á
If there is any weakness in Stuart Marais’ arsenal, it is his swim and if he stays with the leaders in the water, he will be incredibly dangerous. Since moving to PE and training with Raynard Tissink, his form has improved dramatically. Marais had the fastest bike/run split on the 11 Global Triathlon in Cape Town on 1 March and is definitely a dark horse in the mix.