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Five gold medals as SA cyclists shine in Egypt

Cycling South Africa’s national team have made a significant start to the 2013 African Continental Championships currently taking place in Sharm El Sheik, Egypt, claiming five out of the six gold medals on offer so far.

The team won two silver and a bronze medal in the time trial events that took place on Sunday and Monday.

Monday morning’s early start saw South Africa claim three gold medals and two silver medals in the Individual Time Trial. Only two riders per country were permitted to compete in the ITT event. Olympian and National Champion Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio claimed gold and the African Continental Championship title in the elite women’s category over a distance of 21 kilometres.

The South Africans claimed a full house in the junior categories as Junior national champion Heidi Dalton won gold and Monique Gerber claimed silver in the 21km women’s race. Due to Dalton having earned UCI points earlier in the year as a junior rider, she is unable to participate in this championship event in the Elite category. Ivan Venter and Morn├® van Niekerk won gold and silver respectively in the 21km men’s race.

The prestigious continental event kicked off with the Team Time Trial discipline on Sunday with the junior men’s team claiming gold by a margin of 17.28 seconds over a distance of 21km. Nickolas Dlamini, Jandrich Kotze, Morne van Niekerk and Ivan Venter held off the Moroccan team, who finished second, with Algeria finishing third.

The junior women’s team of Andri Coetzee, Heidi Dalton, Monique Gerber and Mikayla Oliver claimed gold in the 21km stage by a margin of 2 minutes 36.95 seconds over host nation Egypt.

In the Elite TTT, South Africa’s team was made up of Under-23 riders only, and Calvin Beneke, Ryan Gibbons, Shaun-Nick Bester and JC Nel put on an outstanding performance in the 63km stage to claim a bronze medal against the strong and victorious Eritrean elite team. The Algerian team finished second.

The Elite and Under-23 men will race in the ITT on Tuesday, covering a distance of 42km, and the junior women will kick off the road racing along a 63km course.


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