The youngsters of the Yorkshire Cycling Academy from Paarl traveled to Durban for the prestigious South African National Road & Time Trial Championships on 2 February 2014.
This event is one of the main highlights on the national cycling calendar and it was hosted by the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Cycling Association, and also supported by Cycling SA and the Provincial Sports Department of KwaZulu-Natal.
The Yorkshire riders that participated at the championships were Whayde Davids (Under 14), Luke Samson (Under 16), Mathew Payne (Under 16), Graeme Ockhuis , Nicol Carstens and Ivan Venter (all Juniors).
All the top road riders in the country were present and racing was fast and tough.
In the Under 14 – 15km Time Trial event Whayde Davids (main picture) of the Yorkshire Cycling Academy rode well to earn him the bronze medal in this category. Davids also participated in the 54km Under 14 road race event. He rode an excellent race and convincingly won the bunch sprint to earn the South African road race title for this event. He is still a young and upcoming rider but shows great potential for the future.
The Academy was represented by Luke Samson and Mathew Payne in the Under 16 road race event. The event was over a distance of 90 km. Samson rode an excellent race and he was able to find himself in the final break of 9 riders on a very testing route in Durban. He finished 7th overall in the road race.
The Juniors participated in 2 events at the national championships – a 30 km individual time trial as well as the 126km Junior Road race.
Ivan Venter, licenced with Yorkshire and part of the Team Giant / CVT rode an excellent time trial. This event is one of his specialties. Devastated, Ivan lost the gold medal by 1 second and was beaten by Gustav Basson (Gauteng) into 2nd position. Graeme Ockhuis finished 11th in the Time Trial and Nicol Carsten 12th.
In the 126km Junior Road Race the 3 Academy Juniors, Venter, Ockhuis and Carstens had a great race and they were up against very good opposition. Carsten did an excellent job in the front part of the bunch and he worked very hard to keep the pace steady.
At the end Venter and Ockhuis found themselves in the final break of 4 riders with about 25km to the finish. In the final sprint Venter finished 2nd behind Stefan De Bod. Ockhuis also finished in a good 4th position.
The youngsters at the Academy worked very hard to achieve these excellent results. The managed to stay focused with their preparation, which already started in September 2013.
The Academy has sound operations, which support the youngsters with coaching and also competition management. There is definitely a great deal of talent amongst the youth but only opportunities must be created for them to participate. Yorkshire Cycling Academy has a long rich history of cycling and numerous riders achieved great results at Yorkshire.
The next major event for the Academy riders will be the South African National Track Cycling Championships. The event will also be hosted in KwaZulu-Natal during April 2014. The riders will also participate in the local events in and around Cape Town. On the cycling calendar fixture is also the Provincial road and track championships.
This year – 2014 – Yorkshire is also celebrating its 95th Anniversary.
Source: Yorkshire Cycling Academy Communication