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SA cycling team named for Canadian campaign
- Updated: July 9, 2013
By Mark Etheridge
A team of six para-cyclists will represent South Africa at the upcoming UCI World Cup and World Road Championships in Canada next month and September.
The squad will compete in the final round of the World Cup in Matane on 23-25 August and then move on to Baie-Comeau for the World Champs on 29 August-1 September.
The team will be spearheaded by Paralympic legend Ernst van Dyk in the H4 hand-cycle category. Also there will be fellow London Paralympian Stuart McCreadie (H2), up and coming Yusthin Lintnaar (T2) and George Rex, who won two silver medals at the recent World Cups in Europe.
Just two women will be in an action for Team SA ÔÇô Justine Asher in the H1 class, and London Paralympian Roxy Burns in the C4 category.
Asher returns to the fray after a nasty crash after the first World Cup in Merano, Italy a few weeks back which saw her returning to South Africa and missing the second World Cup in Spain.
“I fractured bones in both feet. My front carbon was a total write off and also had to replace the fork,” Asher told Road to Rio 2016 this week.
“We were doing a relay in a rainstorm, on narrow roads in town, I was on my second round so had an idea of the circuit so went all out, braked for a sharp corner and my brakes aquaed, too late to do anything, before I knew it I was feet first into the side of a building…
“I waited in the rain completely soaked and freezing for about half an hour for the ambulance. By the time I got to the hospital I had hypothermia. Wasn’t an ideal way to end the tour, I think my lack of experience in racing in thunderstorms combined with the technicality of the circuit was instrumental in my crash. A lesson hard learned, but hasn’t put me off racing and the splints on my feet should be off in the next week.”
The Noordhoek, Cape Town based athlete is now on the road again. “I’m back into training with Canada looming ahead … fortunately my arms were not injured and I’m raring to go!”
Meanwhile, Van Dyk will be looking to maintain his good form from Europe. He also won silver medals in Europe and mission No1 will be the defence of his World Champion jersey in Baie-Comeau.
Once again his main opposition will be ex Formula One racer Alex Zanardi, the man who pipped him to gold at the London Paralympics last year.
Like Asher and Van Dyk, also based in Cape Town, Burns has excellent prospects of earning the most World Cup points in her C4 class, and is focused on returning with the World Cup leader jersey for 2013, having claimed this following the European leg of the competition.
If she succeeds, this will be a first-time achievement for a South African para-cyclist.