Junior cyclist Chris Jooste has been named as the replacement rider for the badly injured Jevandre Pauls in the South African National squad for the upcoming UCI Road World Championships, taking place in Toscana, Italy, following a high-speed crash in a road cycle race in Gauteng yesterday.
Pauls was affected by the crash this weekend that saw many of South Africa’s top riders taken to hospital. Jooste will take up the space in the team and be part of the squad that competes in the road World Championships, which begins this Sunday 21 September.
Cycling SA Vice-President Hendrik Wagener said that there were a few riders in hospital following the crash that occurred in the Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve. “It was a high speed crash on a steep descent that saw the riders come down as the bunch touched wheels,” said Wagener. “Many riders were injured and a few of them taken to hospital.
“KwaZulu-Natal cyclist Andrew Warr was critically injured when he fractured his skull and is still in hospital under observation. Other riders that were affected included Jevandre Pauls, who broke his cheekbones.”
According to a Team Abantu press release, the “150km Rand Water Race for Victory’s well-known 40km circuit inside the Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve was marred with two big accidents on one of the steep descents in the reserve. Tragedy struck as David Maree overshot a tricky corner and slammed into the railing along with two other riders. However, the situation worsened as the chasing group of ten riders, who were 20 seconds back, ploughed into the carnage of the first crash, leaving many riders with serious facial injuries.”
Cycling South Africa wishes the cyclists a speedy recovery and hopes to see them back on their bicycles soon.