CYCLING SOUTH AFRICA NEWS
SA Juniors storm through at African Champs Day Two
Pietermaritzburg – The second day of the Confederation of African Cycling African Road Championships dawned just as swelteringly hot as day one with the two junior divisions taking to the 24km Time Trial course and it was the South African riders who claimed the spoils in both the Junior Men’s and Junior Women’s races.
With two recently crowned national Time Trial champions representing South Africa they were going to go into the competition as favourites and they showed their class as well as their ability to adapt to conditions as Frances du Toit and Greg de Vink added a continental title to their growing lists of achievements.
De Vink went into the race with subdued expectations following a tough Team Time Trial on Monday and the 17-year old rider was glad that he was able to cross the line in the shortest amount of time and conclude what has been a busy couple of weeks.
“I came into today not expecting to win so it is a really great surprise,” he said. “I came off a gold at the South African Champs and then a win yesterday in the team time trial so I was feeling good today and was just really happy that I got the win even though I didn’t really think that I was going to come out on top.”
The Junior men’s podium was separated by just over a minute with second place going to Islam Mansouri from Algeria and the bronze medal being awarded to El Mehdi Chokri of Morocco however in the searing heat De Vink was happy that his Time Trial specific preparation paid off.
“It was really hot out there on the course but I have been riding in this heat for a while and with my focus being more geared towards the time trial at the moment I think that helped me today.
“I am giving the road race a skip later in the week so I could go flat out today and so to take two continental gold medals home with me is great!
“I am just really happy that I won and it was great to represent my county in an international event,” De Vink beamed.