Overcast and humid conditions greeted the Veterans and Masters on the first day of the 2012 Time Freight SA Vets, Masters, Schools & Tandems Road and Time Trial Championships, that took place in Durban today (Thursday).
The 6.5km circuit took the sleek cyclists on a race against the clock from Athlone Drive to Masabalala Yengwa Avenue (old NMR Avenue), Argyle Road, M4 highway and back onto Athlone Drive, with the first of the competitors starting at 09:00 and the final competitor after 15:00.
It was Luke Pheiffer who set a cracker pace to claim the fastest time of the day in 40 minutes 34 seconds over 32.5km (5 laps). Pheiffer represented the Veteran men’s 40-44 age category, posting a time almost a minute faster than his younger counterparts.
In the women’s field, Lynette Burger blitzed the 26km (4-lap) course in 36:12, dominating the women’s category as well as her age group 30-34.
“It was very hot and the wind started picking up by the time we started, and I was riding with a big wheel on the front so I was very nervous about the wheel,” said Pheiffer. “On the first lap I decided to go fast because I wanted to establish a nice lead, and I think I posted the fastest average, and then I just tried to keep going.”
Pheiffer was pleased with the course, saying it was right up his alley. “Everyone thought it was flat but there were one or two little drags near the stadium and I cycle with a cadence so it suited me perfectly. I am looking forward to Saturday’s road race.”
Burger was yet another Time Trial specialist who thoroughly enjoyed the course in Durban today. “It was really a very nice circuit, and well done to everyone who put it together – the full road closure was excellent. It was more my type of circuit being flat but then again there was wind, which was a different factor, but I guess it affects everyone. It was very hot, but once you are riding you don’t actually feel it,” continued Burger.
After experiencing difficulties with injuries, and considering retiring from cycle racing not too long ago, a new desire in Burger’s chosen sport has been rekindled. “Working with the CyclingSA Toyota U23 Academy has really motivated me and put a different mindset and perspective on cycling again for me,” said the excited gold medal winner. “They (academy cyclists) really lift you up, and their sheer energy has rubbed off on me – I think it is showing in my results! I am loving my bike at the moment and am very happy with my win today, and now it feels like everything is working out again.”
Tomorrow’s (Friday) racing sees the highly competitive Schools categories and the Tandem classes participate at the same venue in Durban with racing starting at 09:00. Depending on the categories, cyclists will tackle from 2 kilometres to 26km (4 laps).
Visit www.finishtime.co.za for LIVE timing as the racing progresses, and for the final results.
Photo: Mylene Loumeau/CyclingSA