South African riders kicked off their 2015 UCI Road World Championships campaign yesterday when Nicholas Dlamini and Morne van Niekerk took to the streets of Richmond, Virginia, to tackle the U23 Individual Time Trial.
The second day of the competition saw Denmark’s Mads Wurtz Schmidt and Chloe Dygert of the USA capture gold in the Under 23 Men and Junior Women categories.
The course was the same for both the U-23 Men and Junior Women, a 15 kilometre circuit on rolling, largely urban roads and broad, wide boulevards. After crossing the James River and passing through Virginia Commonwealth University, it headed back into central Richmond to culminate with a daunting 300 metre climb on Governor Street before a seemingly interminable half kilometre of false flat to the finish. For the U-23 men, the time trial course comprised two laps of the circuit, totalling 30 kilometres, and for the Junior Women, one.*
Mads Wurtz Schmidt was flanked by Germany’s Maximilian Schachmann and Lennard Kamna on the Under 23 Men’s Time Trial podium, whilst in the Junior Women’s equivalent event Chloe Dygert’s USA team-mate Emma White secured silver and Anna-Leeza Hull of Australia netted the bronze.
Nicholas Dlamini (20) was the first South African to roll down the ramp and put in his best effort to finish 2:13.40 off the winner’s time, which would place him in 32nd position. “I felt good, it was my first international race and I was looking forward to a good result. The course was quite flat with quite a few drags. I like a race with a lot of drags, which is where I get more time. It felt super flat but I enjoyed it.”
Morne van Niekerk (20) finished in 37th place, 2:32.24 behind the fastest time of the day. “It was a fast route with lots of corners. It was quite windy and overcast when I went out, and humid; it felt like Durban weather. I’m happy with my result - you always want to do more, but with it being my first time I have taken some good experience out of this and can transfer that into my future races.”
Summary of results – 2015 UCI Road World Championships (USA)
Men U23 ITT
1. Mads Wurtz Schmidt (DEN) 37:10.96
2. Maximilian Schachmann (GER) +12.20
3. Lennard Kamna (GER) +21.02
32. Nickolas Dlamini (RSA) +2:13.40
37. Morne van Niekerk (RSA) +2:32.24
The 2015 UCI Road World Championships continues today with the Junior Men TT and the Elite Women TT, starting at 15:30 and 19:30 South African time. South African Gregory de Vink will start in the first batch at 15:44 with Keagan Girdlestone at 17:23. There will be no South African Elite women participating in the TT.