With South Africa emerging from a very tragic period relating to sports personalities who died so tragically, we also remember our own cyclists, officials and administrators who passed away over the past year. Our thoughts are with their families and friends. May their souls rest in peace. Sport has once again shown its power to unite a nation through success and adversity.
2014 has been another successful year for Cycling South Africa with our riders giving a good account of themselves with some exceptional performances across all disciplines. Having six nominations for the SA Sports Awards is unprecedented, but is just reward for the hard work that our riders are putting into their sport. We are extremely proud of our award winners Ernst van Dyk, Justine Asher and Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio. Let us all be inspired by their great achievements!
Our Youth had the opportunity to participate in the Africa Youth Games in Gaborone where they returned with a healthy haul of medals – well done to them! The Youth Olympic Games in China with its unique format was a good learning experience for our young riders with some good individual performances.
Our Commonwealth Games team approached the Games in a very positive frame of mind setting high goals. The going was extremely tough though, with Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio squeezing into third place to win the bronze medal in the women’s road event, our solitary medal at the Games. This is a great result for women’s cycling and we will build on this.
Our Para-cyclists flew our flag high with consistent medal winning performances throughout the year, culminating in handcyclists Justine Asher, Ernst van Dyk and Pieter du Preez being crowned World Champions at the 2014 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships, with some other great medal winning performances from the team. Well done to them! Their great performances did not go unnoticed back home with special mention being accorded them in the National Assembly in Parliament. What a great honour!
Team MTN Qhubeka lining up for the 2014 Vuelta a España – what a great achievement! They gave a good account of themselves with a solid performance from the team. This is a stepping stone to their Tour de France ambitions.
All our riders are great ambassadors for our sport and our organisation and we have to continue to support them in the best way possible for them to achieve even greater success. With the Rio 2016 Olympics looming, our riders are working exceptionally hard to qualify and we will ensure that they get the best possible support.
With another successful year behind us, now is the time for us all to relax and spend some time with our loved ones and come back refreshed in the New Year. I wish you all a very happy and safe festive season. If you are driving, do so with care. Also be extra cautious out there while riding your bicycles.
04 December 2014