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SA stars ride like the wind at nationals in PE

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The ‘Windy City’ had nothing on the Track Cycling stars who appeared to cut through threatening headwinds on the first day of the 2016 South African Track and Para-cycling Championships at the Westbourne Oval in Port Elizabeth on Monday 28 April.
Winner of the Elite Women’s 3000-metre Individual Pursuit (IP) was Team Clover Prestigio’s Charlene du Preez. ‘Because it’s only a 500-metre course, we had to do six laps. There was quite a headwind on the back straight, so after the first lap I felt a bit like jelly. I decided to sit a bit back for the next lap, and then it felt a bit better. I then got to halfway and used the process of counting down the laps, which seemed to work,’ she said.
As a newcomer to track cycling, Du Preez was hoping for a favourable result, but not expecting what she got. ‘I knew that the Western Cape girls were all really good, and in my head I was hoping for at least a second place. So I didn’t expect to win at all. I am really, really happy. I had worked so hard for two months and it all paid off,’ she said.
‘I’m fairly new to the discipline, I only got my first track bike at the end of January, so I’ve been focusing purely on the Pursuit – it’s what I came here to do well in,’ she said.
Elite Men’s 4000-metre IP winner, Steven van Heerden, was determined to better his qualifier and go on to become the new national champion. In the qualification round, Van Heerden posted a 4:57.12, the second fastest time with Morne van Niekerk riding a 4:53.40.
‘I knew I have my work cut out for me if I wanted to beat Morne in the final,’ said van Heerden. ‘Morne is known to start the pursuit off slower and pick it up towards the end. The first half of the race I was ahead of Morne, he closed the gap and it became a tight race from there on, with the start of the last lap Morne was ahead and I managed to pull it back with half a lap to go, beating him by less than a second at the end,’ he added.
Next up for Van Heerden is the Team Pursuit, Points race and Omnium events.
In terms of 2016 season goals, Van Heerden said: ‘I’ve got my eyes set on a few road races as well as the Track Grand Prix and Engen Crit Series.’
Van Heerden thanked many friends and followers on social media for the support, and expressed how happy he was to take the National Championship title. He also mentioned the incredible support from the crowds at the event.
In the U12 boys time trial Ethan Kulsen showed he’s something of a chip off the old block as he raced to gold. Ethan is the son of former ace cyclist Elrick Kulsen, who was Team SA cycling coach at the 2012 Paralympics.
The Championships continue until Sunday.

Picture of Van Heerden in the Individual Pursuit event courtesy of Darren Goddard

Results summary

Elite Men Individual Pursuit (4000m)
1 Steven van Heerden 4:58.15
2 Morne van Niekerk 4:58.56
3 Theuns van der Bank 5:03.19

Elite Women Individual Pursuit (3000m)
1 Charlene du Preez 4:11.23
2 Elfriede Wolfaardt 4:12.14
3 Bernette Beyers 4:17.13

Junior Men Individual Pursuit (3000m)
1 Jason Oosthuizen 3:44.81
2 Anthony Rennie 3:53.42
3 Joshua van Wyk

Junior Women Individual Pursuit (2000m)
1 Anja Gerber 2:54.11
2 Danielle van Niekerk 2:54.37
3 Elne Owen 3:11.85

35-39 Women Individual Pursuit (2000m)
1 Monique King 3:13.52

Under-10 Boys Time Trial (500m)
1 Nathan Hattingh 51.13
2 Allesandro Fanicchi 55.47
3 Weylin Meyer

Under-10 Girls Time Trial (500m)
1 Kyla Uys 55.17
2 Emma Swart 57.34

Under-12 Boys Time Trial (500m)
1 Ethan Kulsen 44.00
2 Blaise Stainbank 45.92
3 Zakariyyaa Martin 48.39

Under-12 Girls Time Trial (500m)
1 Kita Uys 47.77
2 Mia Fortuin 49.09
3 Teagan Meyer 52.82

Under-14 Boys Time Trial (500m)
1 Dian Janjetich 41.29
2 Benjamin Brown 43.19
3 Christiaan Klopper 43.29

Under-14 Girls Time Trial (500m)
1 Chante Olivier 46.55
2 Mischka Strydom 48.52
3 Georgia Dungan 51.46

Under-16 Girls Time Trial (500m)
1 Ashleigh Parsons 43.37
2 Kelsey van Schoor 43.08
3 Courtney Smith 43.51

35-39 Men Time Trial (1000m)
1 Gerhardus Fouche 1:11.47
2 Justin Seale 1:13.65
3 Unknown rider 1.14.66

40-44 Men Time Trial (750m)
1 Jacques Fullard 52.78
2 Thys Oosthuizen 54.21
3 Chrispin Fourie 55.67

45-49 Men Time Trial (750m)
1 Moses Venceslau 54.14
2 Hansie Joubert 54.70
3 Martin van Wyk 55.60

50-54 Men Time Trial (500m)
1 Mario Muller 41.36
2 Gregory Gouveris 41.59
3 Pierre Slabbert 41.81

55-59 Men Time Trial (500m)
1 Gerrit Schepers 37.29
2 Timothy Abbot 37.62
3 Lee Kane 39.03

60-64 Men Time Trial (500m)
1 Sven van Straaten 43.34

70-74 Men Time Trial (500m)
1 Willie Marx 45.37

35-39 Women Time Trial (500m)
1 Monique King 43.07

40-44 Women Time Trial (500m)
1 Amanda Wray 42.09
2 Megan Staples 47.22
3 Angela Scruby 48.37

45-49 Women Time Trial (500m)
1 Martie Joubert 44.11

50-54 Women Time Trial (500m)
1 Riana Berndine Minnaar 44.84
2 Amanda Akom 45.07

55-59 Women Time Trial (500m)
1 Val Scheppel 44.88

60-64 Women Time Trial (500m)
1 Ilna Lemmer 48.54


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