Team South Africa have claimed three medals in the opening Time Trial races of the 2014 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships, taking place in Greenville, South Carolina (USA) from 28 August to 1 September.
Giving new meaning to the phrase “Climate Change” has been the challenge faced by the South African Para-cycling team adjusting to the weather in South Carolina. Departing South Africa in the midst of a cold snap, the riders have had to quickly acclimatise to the extremely hot and humid late summer weather conditions in South Carolina. Aggravating this has been the need to adjust to time zone difference and the effect of this on the biorhythms that are so important for optimising athletic performance.
Justine Asher, South Africa's top woman's hand-cyclist, rode superbly in her time trial, claiming a 1st place finish. Although fatigued by the temperature and humidity, her main battle on the day was effecting quick gear changes during the transitions to the many uphill gradients around the race circuit. In this regard, she will be re-thinking her technique for the forthcoming road race.
The time trial sessions also produced two very well deserved silver medals. Although happy with his medal success, H2 hand-cyclist Pieter du Preez believes he has more to offer in terms of challenging for a gold medal in the forthcoming road race. Compromised by his poor eyesight, he had to exercise a lot of caution whilst cornering during the time trial, which cost him valuable seconds.
Ernst van Dyk was extremely pleased with his silver medal achievement in the time trial, branding it a team effort on the day. Critical to his race success, was the split-time information that team management was able to provide to him by radio communication at regular intervals throughout his race. Based on the information feed he received, he was able to make up time lost in the 1st lap of the race, which he had ridden too slowly. In Van Dyk's opinion, it is essentially only some differences in equipment technology that allowed World and Paralympic Champion Alessandro Zanardi to claim the gold medal ahead of him.
Tricyclist George Rex finished in 4th place in the time trial. Rex was happy with how he rode to plan, achieving an average power output and higher average speed than planned for the race. He realises, however, that his plans need adjustment to account for the competition he faces if he is to achieve his medal target in the road race.
Rex's tricycling team colleagues, Yusthin Lintnaar, Goldy Fuchs and Madre Carinus, were unfortunate not to achieve better results in the time trial, but will be well calibrated and more acclimatised to aim for better performances in the road race.
The Men’s H4 and H5 hand cycle road races take place at 16:00 (SA time) and can be viewed by live streaming here: http://www.teamusa.org/2014UCIParaCyclingRoadWorlds
Summary of results - Time Trial - Saturday, August 30, 2014
Full race results here: http://www.greenvillesc2014.com/RaceResults.aspx
Men H5 16.6km – TT
1 Allessandro Zanardi (ITA) 25:21.98
2 Ernst van Dyk (RSA) 25:52.95
3 Tim de Vries (NED) 25:57.26
Men H3 16.6km – TT
1 Heinz Frei (SUI) 25:54.70
2 Vittorio Podesta (ITA) 26:00.84
3 William Lachenauer (USA) 26:19.14
8 Stuart McCreadie (RSA) 27:54.92
Women’s H2 – 16.6km TT
1 Justine Asher (RSA) 48:49.85
Men H1 8.3km – TT
1 Timothy Williams (NZL) 22:34.74
2 Pieter Du Preez (RSA) 22:55.83
3 Teppo Polvi (FIN) 23:39.98
Men T2 – 16.6km TT
1 Hans-Peter Durst (GER) 28:31.15
2 Ryan Boyle (USA) 29:59.37
3 David Stone (GBR) 30:33.03
8 Goldy Fuchs (RSA) 32:19.23
9 Yusthin Lintnaar (RSA) 33:25.28
Women’s T2 – 16.6km TT
1 Carol Cooke (AUS) 31:23.46
2 Marie-Eve Croteau (CAN) 33:35.97
3 Jill Walsh (USA) 35:41.29
6 Madre Carinus (RSA) 43:55.88
Men T1 – 8.3km TT
1 Quentin Aubague (FRA) 18:25.66
2 Jiri Hindr (CZE) 18:53.79
3 Sergey Semochkin (RUS) 19:27.67
4 Gerald George Rex (RSA) 19:45.25