Cyclists score in NZL | SASCOC - SASCOC

Cyclists score in NZL

Team South Africa had another solid day in the saddle at the UCI UCI Oceania Track Event in Invercargill, New Zealand on Tuesday, writes Mark Etheridge.

All six of our riders were in action in the Individual Pursuit (IP) events. Most successful was Beaufort West’s Jaco Nel who won his category in the time trial on Monday and then was second in the C2 classification IP over 3000 metres on Tuesday ÔÇô┬áfifth overall with a time of 3min 15.78sec.

Unfortunately medals were awarded for the time trial and IP combined so Nel ended up with bronze instead of the gold that the team were hoping for. “I really enjoyed riding on this track,” said Nel. “It’s a nice track. I would have loved that gold medal but the UCI points earned are what counts and it was worth it.”

In the C3 class over 3000mJuan Wilken took fourth (sixth overall in C1-3) with a time of 4:21.1. It was Wilken’s first international track event and he said wasn’t as nerve wracking as he had thought it would be.

In the C4-5 graded events, Janos Plekker took third in C4 (sixth overall) in 5:12.8, Dane WIlson was fourth in C5 (seventh overall, 5:20.4) and Stephan Herholdt was fifth in C4 (ninth overall, 5:23.2). Herholdt specialises in the 1000m time trial and had focused on that race. He had a personal best in Invercargill and was happy with the team’s performance.

Plekker’s time trial didn’t go as planned but had a good individual pursuit and is on target for 2012.

The only woman in the team was Stellenbosch’s Roxy Burns and she was third in the 3000m IP on Tuesday (fifth overall). “I rode 4:45.8, not great but on target,” said the Stellenbosch cyclist. “I felt OK on the ride but definitely not fast enough but it’s not my even though. Now for that long flight home.”

Hetsie Veitch, who accompanied the team to New Zealand as part of management concluded: “It was a short, but very successful trip with many points generated for UCI rankings.”