Van Dyk takes heart from impressive WP time trial effort | SASCOC - SASCOC

Van Dyk takes heart from impressive WP time trial effort

Never afraid to take on a new challenge, six-time Paralympian Ernst van Dyk raced the Western Province able-bodied time trial cycling championships in Atlantis on Friday, writes Mark Etheridge.

It was something of a uncharted territory for Van Dyk as two big city marathons loom large on the horizon in the wheelchair, the London and Boston Marathons next month.

But Friday it was all about his hand-cycling endeavours as he entered the veteran’s category in the 27.6km time trial.

“I wanted to always challenge myself to improve so Western Province made a concession that I could enter,” he told Road to Rio 2016. “The race distance is a little longer than we normally do at UCI events but I wanted to test myself anyway.”

The route was raced in the industrial area of Atlantis on the West Coast with little in the way of sharp corners or steep inclines.

“I ended fourth overall in my age group (40-45) and I raced the clock along with some serious cyclists, some of whom have been to UCI Masters World Champs (Peter Wheeler for example). My average speed was just under 41km/h and I believe it was my highest average speed for the TT in my career to date. At this stage of the season it sets the scene for a good year with the first UCI World Cup in May.”

Van Dyk, pictured right, in his typical time trial outfit

But as he saysÔǪ there are still the two spring marathons to come “so I can’t get excited about hand cycling and the World Cups yet. I want to improve on my 2013 positions of third and second respectively in London and Boston.

“But if my time trial on Friday is anything to go by regarding my condition at the moment I think I will have a good season.”