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Paralympian Van Dyk is part of SA team for World Cup
- Updated: March 17, 2016
The South African team has been announced for the 2016 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup taking place in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, from 7-8 May.
H5 handcyclist Ernst van Dyk (OPEX rider, pictured above), H2 handcyclist Justine Asher (OPEX rider), Craig Ridgard (C2) and Goldy Fuchs (T2) are in the 2016 Rio Paralympic squad and will be aiming to cement their position in this regard through their performances in the Pietermaritzburg World Cup, as well as in other UCI World Cup events scheduled for later in the year.
Part of the national team that will race in Pietermaritzburg includes a mix of experienced riders and newcomers to international competition. A strong handcycling contingent will include Andries Scheepers (H5), Gysbert van der Niet (H4), Barend Coetzee (H4), Stuart McCreadie (H3), Nic Whiteing (H3) and Pieter du Preez (H1); as well as BJ van der Walt (C2), Gary Coetzee (C4), Gerhard Viljoen (T2), Vicky Scheepers (C4), Estelle van der Merwe (C5) and Toni Mould (T1) making up the other classes.
Para-cycling Commission Director, Dr Mike Burns, said: ‘It is particularly with regard to development opportunities and international experience to be gained that the benefits can be appreciated of hosting the UCI World Cup in South Africa.’
Not officially part of the national team but embedded with the team during the UCI World Cup due to their potential to develop, over time, to top tier status are handcyclists Simon Makgobela (H5) and Palesa Manaleng (H3) and C3 para-cyclist Phillo Verlaat.
‘Simon, Palesa and Phillo will be fully supported by Cycling SA throughout the event,’ said Dr Burns. ‘They will feel welcome among their national team colleagues and will learn the international competition ropes through interaction, as well as pick up tips.
‘The performance of Phillo in the 2016 national championships is proof of what advances can be made by a development rider when provided with coaching support, which he has received in his home town of Oudtshoorn over the past few months.
‘Palesa is involved in only her second year of Para-cycling and will be able to build on her experience gained in the 2015 SA World Cup. Simon, who has previously represented South Africa in the 2015 World Cup series, is sure to use the SA World Cup to challenge for a place in the national team once again.’
Although a national team has been selected, there’s no limit on the number of independent racers who can enter and compete in the opening leg of the UCI Road World Cup Series.