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Ryder on SA champs
- Updated: March 1, 2012
By Mark Etheridge
The winner of this year’s South African road cycling championships that start in Nelspruit today will be a worthy winner.
That’s the view of former pro cyclist and MTN-Qhubeka team principal, Douglas Ryder on the eve of the four-day Mpumalanga event that ends on Sunday.
“SA road champs will be tough due to the course and the international South African riders participating (Robbie Hunter, Jay Thomson, John-Lee Augustyn),” Ryder told Road to London 2012.
“I have always wanted the best South African riders to be present so I am glad that the eventual winner on the day will be the cream of the crop.”
Ryder rates All African Games time trial champion and international stage winner (Herald Sun Tour last year) Reinardt Janse van Rensburg as the one to watch in his team. “In terms of our chances we rate Reinardt as our main contender even though he is so young and a first year Elite (last year he was Under-23).
“He’s is incredibly strong and also should have a good showing in tomorrow’s TT. As a team we are down on our usual numbers as we have a six-man team racing the Tour of Langkawi in Malaysia and including two very strong South African riders Dennis van Niekerk and Jacques Janse van Rensburg who would both be very good in Nelspruit on the circuit.
So our tactic will be to bide our time and hopefully we have the power to finish the race off. Our other riders, Arran Brown and Brad Potgieter will ride in support of Reinardt and then we have Calvin Beneke, Songezo Jim and JC Nel going for the Under-23 title too so the race in the race could be interesting.
“We have two other African riders ÔÇô Loto Petrus (Namibia) and Tsgabu Grmay (Ethiopian) ÔÇô┬áwho can only race in a support role due to them not being South African,” concluded Ryder.