It was the young riders that rode with extra fervour and a few National Records tumbled on the second day of the 2016 South African Track and Para-cycling Championships at the Westbourne Oval in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday 29 April, with Mia Fortuin (U12G), Eathan Kulsen (U12B) and Chante Olivier (U14G) all smashing 1500m Individual Pursuit records.
Young and old have been enjoying the beautiful Port Elizabeth weather on the cycle track, with age groups younger than 10-years-old right up to over 70 years of age competing for the National Championship titles in their respective age groups, over and above the crowd-attracting Elite and Junior groups. Each category is as highly competitive as the next.
Clover Prestigio’s Charlene du Preez claimed yet another victory at the Championships when she won the Elite Women’s 1500m in 2:01.70. Bernette Beyers (Energas) and Maroesjka Matthee (BestMed ASG) finished in second and third respectively. Jennifer Abbot (Panda) claimed the Junior women’s victory in the 1500m in 2:37.83, with Anja Gerber second and Danielle van Niekerk (VWE Track Academy) third.
The 1000m Sprint saw Sven van Straaten and Willie Marx in the men’s 60-and-over category dice each other in two heats, with Van Straaten winning both Final Heats over the local cycling Legend Marx.
Young Eathan Kulsen was one of the riders to set a new National Record on the second day of competition, winning the under-12 Boys’ 1500-metre Individual Pursuit (IP) in a time of 2:25.96. Kulsen felt exhausted after the strenuous race.
“All the training that I did was only for that race. I thought it would be hard but it wasn't that hard although I was still tired after the race. But at the end of the day I was very happy. I didn't know that I would break the record, so I am very excited about that. I still have the 3K (Scratch Race) and Team Pursuit (TP) to do. I’m still tired after yesterday’s IP race so I’m not sure about the 3K but I’m very excited about the Team Pursuit.”
Young Kulsen loves Port Elizabeth and looks forward to getting to the beach before he heads home with his proud parents, Elrick and Michelle Kulsen. Speaking about his son’s new Record, Elrick said: “It feels nice, we worked hard for it. He was very committed in his training. I’m surprised that he won by more than two seconds, I thought it would be much closer than that.”
Michelle explained how dedicated Eathan is to his training and was surprised at his performance since the Individual Pursuit is his least favourite race. “He is a very dedicated young man and he never complains. What surprised me the most is that he was actually going out there to get the race over and done with, and then the record came. We are so extremely proud of him. He trains tremendously hard and the hard work has paid off.”
Elrick was impressed and encouraged by the immense growth in numbers of the young riders at this year’s Track Championships. “I think its great for cycling. Last year, the under-10 age group only had about three riders and the under-12 about three or four. This year, they have 12 riders in the under-14 Boys category only! These riders come from the cycling provinces that are very track committed, like the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Province. So the future looks good for track cycling.”
2016 SA Track and Para-cycling Championships organiser, Jenny Meyer, also expressed her joy at the increase in entries this year. “We’ve had an awesome amount of entries this year and it’s all the best track cyclists in the country so it really is a great show of cycling, this is absolutely brilliant!
“We’ve had a lot of 10-and-under riders taking part, which is so encouraging for the development of track cycling in the country.”
The 2016 SA National Track, Para-cycling and Omnium Championships take place at the Westbourne Cycling Track in Port Elizabeth from Monday 28 March to Sunday 3 April, with the SA Track and Para-cycling Championships running from Monday 28 March to Friday 1 April and the SA Omnium Championships running from Saturday 2 to Sunday 3 April. For more information about the event, click here: http://www.cyclingsa.com/2016-sa-track-champs/ or contact email@example.com.
Summary of Results – SA Track and Para-cycling Championships – Day 2 – 29 March 2016
Click here to download the full results.
Elite Women 1500m
1.Charlene du Preez 2:01.70
Junior Women 1500m
1.Jennifer Abbot 2:37.83
3.Danielle van Niekerk
35-44 Women 1500m
1.Amanda Wray 2:42.50
U16 Girls Sprint (1000m) – Final Heat 2
1.Kelsey van Schoor 15.07 
2.Simone Farber 
1. Ashleigh Parsons 16.66 
2.Cortney Smith 
35-44 Women Sprint (1000m) – Final Heat 1
1.Monique King 13.92 
2.Amanda Wray 
1.Megan Staples 16.00 
2.Angela Scruby 
50-59 Women Sprint (1000m) – Final Heat 1
1.Riana Berndine Minnaar 15.05
50-59 Women Sprint (1000m) – Final Heat 2
1.Riana Berndine Minnaar 16.10
Under 10 Girls Individual Pursuit (1000m)
1.Kyla Uys 1:51.17
2.Emma Swart 1:56.64
Under 10 Boys Individual Pursuit (1000m)
1.Allessandro Fanicchi 1:52.51
2.Nathan Hattingh 1:53.34
3.Waylin Meyer 2:08.69
Under 12 Girls Individual Pursuit (1500m)
1.Mia Fortuin 2:39.45 (New SA Record)
2.Kita Uys 2:39.57
3.Megan Meyer 2:42.78
Under 12 Boys Individual Pursuit (1500m)
1.Eathan Kulsen 2:25.96 (New SA Record)
2.Blaise Stainbank 2:30.23
3.Zakariyyaa Martin 2:30.91
Under 14 Girls Individual Pursuit (1500m)
1.Chante Olivier 2:15.95 (New SA Record)
2.Mischka Strydom 2:30.36
3.Ashleigh Mayhead 2:34.98
Under 14 Boys Individual Pursuit (1500m)
1.Dian Jenjetich 2:12.50
2.Benjamin Brown 2:13.47
3.Christiaan Klopper 2:18.06
Under 16 Boys Time Trial (500m)
1.Keagan Bontekoning 38.29
2.Daniel John Skews 38.85
3.Matthew Fortuin 38.88
60+ Men Sprint (1000m) – Final Heat 1
1.Sven van Straaten 13.46
60+ Men Sprint (1000m) – Final Heat 2
1.Sven van Straaten 13.51