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Olympian Esterhuizen wins in US
- Updated: August 18, 2013
South African track cycling Olympian Bernard Esterhuizen won the men’s title in the Keirin at the Deer Park Nature Spring Water UCI Fastest Man (and Woman) on Wheels at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center at the weekend.
By claiming the victory, Esterhuizen adds valuable UCI points to his tally, which is needed in order to qualify for the UCI World Cup and World Championship competitions. He also finished third in the Sprint, with Njisane Phillip (Trinidad) claiming the victory.
In an interview with The Morning Call Esterhuizen said that he had planned his season around the UCI races. Taking the lead position behind the pace motorcycle, the 21-year-old led out to the finish, digging deep with the pressure being laid by local favourite Matt Baranoski (USA), Poland’s Kamil Kuczynski and Phillip.
Esterhuizen was one of four riders to break the 11-second mark in the early rounds of the Sprint competition, posting 10.73 seconds, followed by Baranoski at 10.76, Kuczynski at 10.90 and Phillip in 10.95.
ÔÇ£Esterhuizen easily knocked off Canada’s Chris Singleton, son of VPCC Hall of Fame member and world champion Gordon Singleton, in the quarterfinals. Gordon Singleton was back at the track for the first time in 10 years and served as holder for his son and several Canadian riders. Philip upset the top-seeded Esterhuizen in the semis. Philip started the sprint out of Turn 2, taking the lead after hitting the pole lane ahead of the South African. Philip kept the pedal power in high gear and led out to the end to make the finals,ÔÇØ the article read.
Esterhuizen’s high-class speed placed him ahead of Kuczynski for third place.
South Africa’s Maroesjka Matthee competed in the women’s challenge, claiming 7th in the Keirin, which was won by Missy Erikson of Colorado. Erikson also picked up UCI points by winning the 10-kilometre Scratch race, with Matthee claiming third place.
Matthee said that the racing was very fast, and that she was competing in mostly short races over the time that she has been positioned in the United States.
ÔÇ£I raced two Tuesday races and two Friday races,ÔÇØ said Matthee ahead of the Fastest Man on Wheels competition. ÔÇ£I got a 5th place and a 6th place in the first week. Last Friday I got my first podium.
“I won my heat in the 500m Chariot race and got narrowly beaten into 3rd in the final. I managed a 3rd place in the Elimination and 5th in the Omnium.
ÔÇ£There are a lot of strong ladies racing and it’s not something that I am used to. It really feels like a different world!ÔÇØ
The Fastest Man on Wheels took place in the world famous cycling hub of Trexlertown, fondly known to avid cyclists as T-Town, in Pennsylvania. Esterhuizen plans to remain in T-town for the next two weeks.