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Cyclists ready to roll

By Mark Etheridge

Brett Coates is the man who oversees the two-wheel brigade of Team South Africa at the Commonwealth Games.

And the cycling fundi is certainly hopeful that the cycling code will contribute to Team SAs medal coffer as the rainbow nation goes all out to at least emulate the class of 2010 who ended fifth on the medal table at Delhi, India.

Coates manages the cycling squad with particular emphasis on the mountain bike code ÔÇô after all he is the mountain bike director at Cycling SA.

He has help in Glasgow from Dean Edwards and Sheldon Bole in the track and road categories.

Of his specialist category, Coates said that Philip Buys and Mariske Strauss should more than hold their own in the mountain biking.

“Philip is ranked third or fourth of the Commonwealth countries in the mountain bike category and of course he had a great Cape Epic this year. I would expect him to at least make Top 10.

“Mariske is most definitely a podium contender in the form she’s in right now, especially from the Commonwealth countries. Her top contender is a rider from Canada but I’m not actually sure whether she’s competing at these Games.”

Originally from Yorkshire but having lived in South Africa (Nelspruit these days) since 1984, Coates is also full of hope in the women’s cycling road race.

“Ashleigh Moolman Pasio qualified us and the rest of the girls will help try and get her as high as possible. She’s shown some excellent form of late but of course the road race is always something of a lottery with the weather being a factor etc but on a good day if she has a good ride anything’s possible.

We haven’t had that much chance to practice as a team so it’s a lot to ask by there’s always a chance. Teams like England and Australia are the obvious threats ”

On the track Coates immediately singles out former world champion silver medallist Nolan Hoffman in the Scratch race.

“He’s looking very strong at the moment and the guys had a bit of a camp in Durban recently. The thing about track cycling is that there are a lot more medals at stake so there are more chances of picking something up in this category.”

Picture: www.ashleighcycling.com


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