Stand out performances from National Track champs

The 2014 SA Track and Para-cycling Championships came to a close at the Cyril Geoghegan Cycle Stadium in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal late on Saturday evening, 3 May. The event was earmarked by rain (day 2) and strong winds (day 3-4), but this did not prevent riders performing at their best and delivering strong results.

Some of the regular contenders and defending champions maintained their positions at the top of this explosive and tactical discipline within cycling, with some new faces making their presence felt by standing on the top step of the podium for the first time as well. Refreshing to see was the number of new comers, and increased field of youth who contested their events.

In the Elite Men category, London 2012 Olympian Bernard Esterhuizen rode to victory in the Sprint, 1000m TT and Keirin events. Esterhuizen earned a silver medal in the Team Sprint with Chris Mlotshwa and Darren Goddard, representing the KwaZulu-Natal team, and a Bronze in the 1500m.

The crowd was however at its feet in the 1500m Elite men race. Chris Mlotshwa’s (KZN) – who started track cycling some 7 months ago and was racing in his maiden National Track Cycling Championship – made an early break away, and it was up to the rest of the field to chase him down. He secured the gold medal victory in a head-to-head tussle against Jean Smith (Belville Club)(silver) and the Olympian powerhouse Bernard Esterhuizen (bronze).

Jean Smith also claimed medals in the Individual Sprint (silver), 1000m TT (silver), Keirin (silver) and Team Sprint (gold).

Local hero and track cycling star, Nolan Hoffman (Team Abantu), collected a number of medals during the competition, including in the 15km Scratch (gold), 4000m Team Pursuit (gold), Madison (gold) with his teammate Kellan Gouveris (Team Abantu), Elimination (silver) and the 4000m Individual Pursuit (bronze). A surprise performance came from road racer David Maree (Team Abantu) when he beat his teammate and seasoned track star Hoffman in the Elimination to claim gold.

Panda Abantu Academy rider, and first year Elite Morne van Niekerk, surprised many by adding to the team’s medal tally by claimingthe 4000m Pursuit (gold) in front of pre-race favourite and defending champion Theuns van der Bank.  Morne further secure a gold in the 40km Points, with silvers in the 4000m Team Pursuit and Madison (with Joshua Buchel) respectively.

The rising stars in the Junior Men category were also in the hunt for championship medals. Kicking off the medal haul was Stefan de Bod who claimed gold in the 3000m Individual Pursuit, Team Sprint and Scratch, and bronze in the Points and 1000m TT. Joshua Buchel (Karan Beef) won gold in the 1500m and Elimination, as well as 4 silver medals (Individual Pursuit, Points, 1000m TT andMadison (with Morne van Niekerk), and a bronze in the Scratch race.

Young Eugene Soule (Belville Club) stood on the top step of the podium in the Sprint, 1000m TT and Keirin events, also claiming medals in the Team Sprint (silver) and 1500m (bronze). These accomplishments were recognised when he was awarded the Junior Cyclist of the Championships Award; another talent to be watched.

Waylin Young (Cycleworld Bloemfontein), who resides in Bloemfontein and competed in his first Track Nationals, showed that having frequent access to a track is not a pre-requisite for track accomplishments.  He was crowned the SA Junior Champion in the Points race and rode a strong individual pursuit to finish in Silver position behind Stefan de Bod. Stand out performances came from a number of our elite ladies Maroesjka Matthee (City Cycling Club/Intellibus), cemented her authority in recent years in the Elite category when she claimed 7 gold and 1 silver medal during the five-day championships. Matthee won the Keirin, 1500m, Scratch, Points and 3000m Pursuit. She also claimed gold in the Team Sprint and 4000m Team Pursuit with fellow Western Cape ladies. Her silver medal was earned in the 500m Time Trial, which was won in a strong wind by Annerine Wenhold (MTN Club 100).

Adding to her 500m TT gold medal, Wenhold also claimed the fastest time in the 200m, as well as 3 silver medals, (Individual Sprint, 4000m Team Pursuit (Gauteng team) and Team Sprint (with Dalena Nel)).

In the Junior Women’s category, Monique Gerber (BestMed) claimed three gold medals in total by winning the 2000m Pursuit, 7.5km Scratch and the 500m TT. Odette van Deventer (MTN Club 100) claimed 4 golds: 1500m, Keirin, Team Sprint (with Chante van der Merwe (BestMed)) and the Individual Sprint and a silver medal in the 500m TT.

On Thursday and Friday, the Para-cyclists competed in the Individual Pursuit and Time Trial events respectively. Despite only three athletes competing, Roxy Burns (C4), Juan Odendaal (C3) and Dane Wilson (C5) gave it their all for the prestigious championship titles.

Burns completed the 3km Pursuit in 5:10.97, while Odendaal rode a time of 5:03.61 in the 4000m Pursuit with Wilson recording 5:36.81. In the TT event Burns crossed the line in 47.38 seconds in the 500m TT, while Odendaal recorded 1:32.34 and Wilson, 1:14.52 in the 1000m TT.

Summary of Results – 2014 SA Track and Para-cycling Champs - Days 3-5

Thursday 1 May

7.5km Scratch Junior Women
1 Monique Gerber (BestMed)
2 Chante van der Merwe (BestMed)
3 Kayla Edwards (Jowetts)

10km Scratch Elite Women
1 Maroesjka Matthee (Intellibus)
2 Ilze Bole (Tam Computersmith)
3 Dalena Nel (Panda)

25km Points Junior Men
1 Waylin Young (Cycleworld) 28
2 Joshua Buchel (Karan Beef) 23
3 Stefan de Bod (FVT Maserati) 14

40km Points Elite Men
1 Morne van Niekerk (Panda) 43
2 Kellan Gouveris (Team Abantu) 43
3 Oupa Maluleke (Team Abantu) 38

Elite Men Team Sprint (3 laps – 999.99m)
1 Gold – Western Province 1:06.75
Jean Smith / Kyle Borchjes / Matthew de Freitas
2 Silver – KwaZulu-Natal 1:07.93
Chris Mlotshwa / Bernard Esterhuizen / Darren Goddard             
3 Bronze – Team Giant 1:10.34
Evan Carstens / Theuns Van Der Bank / Graeme Ockhuis               

Junior Men Team Sprint
1 Gold – Western Province 1:10.70
Jean Claude Jantjies / Stefan de Bod / Alexander Parsons
2 Silver – Western Province 1:12.73
Reino Lourens / Ay-yoob Isaacs / Eugene Soule
3 Bronze –Gauteng 1:13.43
Douglas Abbot / Luc Green / Joshua van Wyk (Europcar team) 

500m Time Trial Junior Women
1 Monique Gerber (BestMed) 42.28
2 Odette van Deventer (MTN Club 100) 42.63
3 Kayla Edwards (Jowetts) 45.36

500m Time Trial Elite Women
1 Annerine Wenhold (MTN Club 100) 38.79
2 Maroesjka Matthee (Intellibus) 40.12
3 Lauren Burnett (Mr Price) 42.08

C4 - 3000m Individual Pursuit Women
Gold - Roxy Burns 5:10.97

C3 - 4000m Pursuit Men
Gold - Juan Odendaal 5:03.61

C5 - 4000m Pursuit Men
Gold Dane Wilson 5:36.81

Friday 2 May

4000m Team Pursuit - Open Women
1 Gold – WP team (Maroesjka Matthee / Debbie Loffell-Dawson / Myrtle Hagedorn / Bronwyn Abrahams) 5:47.86 (new SA record)
2 Silver – Gauteng team (Ilze Bole / Annerine Wenhold / Chante van der Merwe / Mikayla Oliver) 5:49.51 (which also bettered the previous SA record)
3 Bronze – KZN team (Amanda Wray / Jackie Church / Lauren Burnett / Nadia Botha) 5:58.86

15km Scratch - Elite Men
1 Nolan Hoffman (Team Abantu)
2 Evan Carstens (Giant)
3 Emile Jacobs (Kinetic / Banasta)

1500m - Elite Men
1 Chris Mlotshwa (KZN)
2 Jean Smith (WP)
3 Bernard Esterhuizen (KZN)

1500m - Junior Men
1 Joshua Buchel (Gauteng)
2 Graeme Ockhuis (WP)
3 Eugene Soule (WP)

Team Sprint - Open Women (666.67m)
1 WP (Maroesjka Matthee / Myrtle Hagedorn) 53.75
2 Gatueng 1 (Annerine Wenhold / Dalena Nel) 53.96
3 Gauteng 2 (and first Junior team (Odette van Deventer/ Chante van der Merwe) 54.66

C4 - 500m Time Trial Women
Gold - Roxy Burns 47.38

C3 - 1000m Time Trial Men
Gold - Juan Odendaal 1:32.34

C5 - 1000m Time Trial Men
Gold - Dane Wilson 1:14.52

1000m Individual Time Trial - Junior Men
1 Eugene Soule  (WP) 1:10.88
2 Joshua Buchel (WP) 1:11.85
3 Stefan de Bod (WP) 1:13.34

1000m Time Trial - Elite Men
1 Bernard Esterhuizen (Kings Park CC) 1:07.17
2 Jean Smith (Bellville) 1:08.59
3 Matthew de Freitas (WP) 1:10.82

Saturday 3 May

10km Scratch - Junior Men
1 Stefan de Bod (FVT Maserati)
2 Graeme Ockhuis (Yorkshire)
3 Joshua Buchel (Karan Beef)

Elimination - Junior Men
1 Joshua Buchel (Karan Beef)
2 Graeme Ockhuis (Yorkshire)
3 Jean Claude Jantjies (Western Cape)

Elimination - Elite Men
1 David Maree (Team Abantu)
2 Nolan Hoffman (Team Abantu)
3 Jean Spies (Gauteng)

Keirin - Junior Women
1 Odette van Deventer (MTN Club 100)
2 Shanique Loggenberg (Oudtshoorn)
3 Kayla Edwards (Jowetts)

Keirin - Elite Women
1 Maroesjka Matthee (Intellibus)
2 Dalena Nel (Panda)
3 Lauren Burnett (KZN)

Keirin - Junior Men
1 Eugene Soule (WP)
2 Graeme Ockhuis (Yorkshire)
3 Ay-yoob Isaacs (MC2)

Keirin - Elite Men
1 Bernard Esterhuizen (Kings Park CC)
2 Jean Smith (Bellville)
3 Bradwin Daniels (Muhammadeyah CC)

Open Madison
1 Nolan Hoffman / Kellan Gouveris 30
2 Joshua Buchel / Morne Van Niekerk 12 
3 Jac-Johann Steyn / Dirkie Nel 9