The South African Track Grand Prix (UCI CL2) and National Series take place in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, at the Cyril Geoghegan Cycle Track from 7-9 August 2016. Founder of the VWE Cycling Academy and former National Track cycling Champion, Martin van Wyk, is eager to see the direction that track cycling has taken since South African National Track Championships that took place in Port Elizabeth in April.
“From a High Performance side of things, this will be a great time to assess where we are with track cycling in the country. It will be nice to get an idea of what else has been happening on the track scene since National Champs,” he said.
Van Wyk is still positive about the event, despite challenges affecting entries. “The two major challenges, which face us ahead of this weekend’s event, are the number of riders unable to attend because of Matric commitments, as well as the event falling on the same weekend as the Clover Tour road cycling event,” he said.
Having just returned home after spending come time in T-Town in the United States, as well as the UCI Track Junior World Championships in Switzerland, Van Wyk is optimistic about the future of track cycling in the country, and encourages Junior riders to continue their focus and dedication to the discipline.
“There are quite a few Juniors who took part in Worlds who are heading to Durban for the Grand Prix, and it will be great to see how they do here as well,” he said.
Former professional cyclist Jeremy Maartens will be bringing Benedict Moqumo and Sibonelo Mbele from Soweto through to Durban for the event. “These two guys are our development riders from the VWE Academy. It is part of a greater dream to be able to one day enter an entire South African development team into an event like Worlds,” said Van Wyk.
When chatting about the importance of a UCI Class 2 event being held in the country, Van Wky said: “A race like this is so important to our riders. A UCI Class 2 event allows track cyclists to attain important UCI points without having to fly overseas in order to get them. The points are important in order to qualify for World Cups. It’s a goal to host even more events such as African Continental Champs, and then, of course, The Commonwealth Games. Its definitely less expensive to be able to travel to events in our own backyard.”
He also added that another very important aspect to the UCI Class 2 event, was that the Junior riders who took part in the UCI Junior Track World Championships would get that continuity from one UCI event to the next in order to hone in on their skills even more and keep at it in order for them to be even more prepared for entry into Elite level.
“Another important element of the UCI Class 2 event here, is so those who are yet to have international experience, are still able to race in international-standard events like this,” he added.
Rounds one and two of the South African Track Grand Prix and National Series take place in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, at the Cyril Geoghegan Cycle Track from 7-9 August 2016. The UCI CL2 classified event has Elite riders hungry for all-important UCI points on offer. A favourable prize purse is on offer to those taking part, with over R60 000 up for grabs.
Entry for spectators is free and we welcome all supporters to attend and watch an exciting three days of Track racing.
For more information, click here: http://www.cyclingsa.com/2016-sa-track-grand-prix/.