Esterhuizen excels | SASCOC - SASCOC

Esterhuizen excels

Bernard Esterhuizen was the star for Team South Africa at the second UCI World Cup track cycling event in Cali, Colombia last week.

The Durban teenager, based in Aigle, Switzerland, rode his way to two national track cycling records in two of cycling’s most hardcore track events, the sprint and 1000-metre time trial.

In the 200m Flying Start sprint race he finished in 11th place with a new national record of 10.258 seconds, smashing the previous record of 10.3 seconds that was set by Dean Edwards in Moscow, 2004. The Germans dominated the sprint event where Stefan Botticher took the gold, and Maximilian Levy and Robert Forstemann taking silver and bronze respectively.

Then came the 1000m Time Trial. This is an event where Esterhuizen won the world junior title last year and it’s a race very similar to the 400m on the athletics track ÔÇô all out from the start and hang in till the line.

Esterhuizen hung in for eighth place and his second new SA record of 1:02.861 being set, breaking a record that had been standing firm since 2000 set by Garen Bloch in Manchester. Frenchman Francois Pervis claimed victory in 1:00.075, with Simon Van Velthooven, New Zealand, second in 1:01.160 and Czech Filip Ditzel third in 1:02.009.

Esterhuizen also finished 14th in the Keirin, an eight-lap race also held at the Alcides Nieto Pati├▒o velodrome ÔÇô a race that was won by Germany’s Levy.

Two other South Africans also competed in Cali. Nolan Hoffman, All Africa Games road champion, competed in the Omnium discipline for the first time, against a tough international ensemble ÔÇô and finished in 16th position.

The final member of the team was Evan Carstens. It was his outing in Cali and he ended 17th result in the fiercely competitive Points Race ÔÇô a good result for Carstens to build on. ┬áThen him and Hoffman competed in the Madison Final, where they unfortunately did not complete the race after a solid showing in the heat.

Our track cyclists will now prepare for the next two World Cups ÔÇô Beijing from 12-15 January and London from 16-19 February.