Team South Africa’s cyclists got proceedings underway in the track cycling discipline at the 2014 Commonwealth Games at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow, Scotland, yesterday.
The men’s 4000m Team Pursuit saw Evan Carstens, Kellan Gouveris, Nolan Hoffman and Theuns van der Bank finish fifth in the rankings in a time of 4:18.194, setting a new national record. Despite setting a new South African record, they failed to progress to the next round.
South Africa’s endurance track coach, Sheldon Bole, has been instrumental in preparing the riders for the Team Pursuit. Bole was part of the touring group that attending the recent track cycling tour to Malaysia, which made a vast impact on the riders in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games.
A day prior to the competition, track coach Dean Edwards, himself a competitor for Team SA at the last Games in New Delhi in India, had told Mark Etheridge of Road to Rio that he was hoping to break the national record in the Team Pursuit.
“What we are looking at in the Team Pursuit is to set realistic goals. This team is a relatively new project but we are looking at consolidating our place in the top five Commonwealth countries. What we do have in our sights is to break the current SA record,” Edwards had said.
London 2012 Olympian, Bernard Esterhuizen, finished 16th overall in the Men’s Sprint qualifying in a time of 10.317 seconds and failed to qualify. Esterhuizen’s preferred discipline is the one kilometre time trial, which he will compete in on Saturday.