Impressive Ride For Young Esterhuizen at Track Worlds26 Feb 2013
Young KwaZulu-Natal track cycling sensation Bernard Esterhuizen proved why he is one of South Africa’s fastest cycling sprinters on Saturday during the 2013 UCI Track Cycling World Championships that took place in Minsk, Belarus.
The London 2012 Olympian, who recently smashed his own national 200-metre sprint record at a UCI World Cup event in Mexico, was one of 42 starters in the high-speed event, clocking a time of 10.128 seconds in his first heat, which put him in twelfth position. Qualifying for the next round, Esterhuizen came up against Frenchman Quentin Lafargue, and beat him convincingly, proceeding to the following round.
Here the 20-year-old Durbanite competed against another Frenchman Francois Pervis, but Pervis proved stronger in this round and beat him, which meant the young South African moved to the repercharge heats.
The repercharge heat sees those competitors who finished outside the top two riders compete against each other. They then have to win these heats to make it to the semi-final stages. Esterhuizen came up against Mitchell Bullen of Australia and Stefan Botticher of Germany, but both finished ahead of Esterhuizen.
Esterhuizen said that he was quite impressed with his performance and that he had felt much better in the race compared to last year’s championship event, resulting in a top 12 finish. The race was won by Stefan Botticher (GER) with Denis Dmitriev (RUS) claiming the silver medal and Francois Pervis (FRA) the bronze medal.
Click here for the official results of the Men’s Sprint: http://www.minsk2013.com/media/docs/2_mens_sprint_final_classification.pdf
Earlier in the week, 2012 world champion silver medalist Nolan Hoffman competed in the Scratch 15km event. Unfortunately for Hoffman, he found himself on the back of the wrong wheel, that of a Swiss Rider. With about ten laps to go, Hoffman put in a big effort to make contact with the leading pack of eleven riders.
As he reached the leaders however, another attack was launched by Ireland, Great Britain, Australia and Austria. The pace was fast and furious at this stage and Hoffman could match it.
The Franschhoek-born 27-year-old described this race as being “one of my worst races ever”, and felt understandably disappointed in himself after all his training efforts in the build up to the event. The race was won by Irishman Martin Irvine, with Andreas Mueller (Austria) second and Luke Davidson (Australia) third.
Click here for the official results of the 15km Men’s Scratch Race: http://www.minsk2013.com/media/docs/MEN.Scratch15km.finale.pdf