Bernard gearing up | SASCOC - SASCOC

Bernard gearing up

Our 2010 junior world champion track time trial cyclist, Bernard Esterhuizen, is having a mixed bag of results on the World Cup series, writes Mark Etheridge.

The Durban youngster, who has been based in Switzerland for some time now, was in Manchester, England and Beijing, China for the most recent World Cup events.

“Manchester went all-right,” said Esterhuizen from Switzerland this week. “I had the 200m qualifying men’s sprint three laps on the Friday so everyone had fresh legs. I manage to qualify 16th which was better than I’d thought that I would do.

“I was also happy because I out-qualified a couple of really fast guys. But the first round didn’t go so well as I was up against the fastest qualifier, Kevin Sireu, who beat me easily.

“In the B quarter-final I was up against a Polish guy Damian Zielinski who I could have beaten but I left it a bit too late and didn’t get him on the line [Zielinski clocked 10.814 at the 200m mark]┬á so I was out the competition.”

The next day featured the keirin event. “That didn’t go to plan as well as I didn’t get pass the repercharge [fourth in his heat, won by Asai Kota of Japan].

But Esterhuizen was more upbeat about his next Cup event in Beijing. “I did a whole lot better in Beijing, coming 11th in the keirin and winning the first round against Awang.” Malaysia’s Azizulhasni Awang made headline news in Manchester when he won bronze after finishing with a huge wooden splinter in his calf as he crashed to the wooden surface.

“I also came 12th in the sprint. Now everything is geared on getting ready for the World Championships,” said Esterhuizen. The championships will be contested in Apeldoorn, Netherlands at the end of March.