Mountain biking medals to close African Youth Games cycling experience

Alan Hatherly, Frances du Toit and Relebohile Pebane garnered another three medals for South Africa’s young cycling team in the mountain bike cross-country race at the 2014 African Youth Games in Gaborone, Botswana on Friday 30 May.

Frances “Frankie” du Toit claimed a gold medal after completing four laps of the 5.6km route through the sandy bushveld scrub in a winning time of 53 minutes and 21 seconds. Her teammate, Relebohile “Lebo” Pebane, claimed silver medal in 01:10:28.

Du Toit told Road to Rio’s Mark Etheridge: “It was a nice course. The first half had a slight uphill drag and some rocky uphill sections and then a short downhill. It was also very twisty. On the start line, I could see thorns sticking out of my tyre but didn't want to take them out in case there was a puncture.” The win also means that Du Toit will top the UCI MTB junior rankings.

In the junior boys’ race, Alan Hatherly claimed gold in a six-lap duel with Namibian Tristan de Lange. Hatherly managed to outsprint De Lange for the victory.

Hatherly told Road to Rio: “I went for a fast start to eliminate the leading group and Tristan and I got a break early on. We shared the lead 50/50 for most of the way. I managed to get past Tristan just before the final corner on the last bit of single track.”

Cycling South Africa’s Team Manager, Hendrik Wagener, was extremely proud of the team’s performance: “The cycling team performed really well throughout the competition, and we are very proud of their achievements. Our final medal tally for the cyclists was 11 gold, three silvers and one bronze. Well done to all our cyclists!”

Photo: Wessel Oosthuizen/SASPA