With just weeks to go until the 2012 UCI World Cycling Tour Final in Pietermaritzburg from 23 to 26 August one of road cycling’s icon figures Andrew McLean is determined to succeed at an event that he says is of massive importance for South African cycling.
“I think this is a very prestigious competition and very important for cycling on the world stage as well as being very important for South Africa,” said McLean, who dominated his 45-49 year age group at the Msunduzi Road Challenge qualifying event last year, winning the his age group road race and posting the fastest time trial overall.
“To give you an idea of how competitive it is a few years ago I was beaten at the UCI World Cycling Tour Final in Austria by Sean Yates,” said McLean. “Sean Yates is a Tour De France stage winner and man behind the Team Sky tactics at this years Tour.”
McLean, who races in the colours of Cycle Lab Toyota, has a stellar CV sporting victories in road racing, time trials and mountain biking events and is the popular co-presenter of the SuperSport magazine show SuperCycling.
Like many of the local riders who secured qualification for the UCI World Cycling Tour Final McLean has made the trip down to Pietermaritzburg from his home in Johannesburg to train on the routes that will decide the titles, and with them the rights to wear the prestigious UCI rainbow jerseys for the world champions in each class.
McLean added weight to the belief that the standard of racing in every age category will be extremely high. He has raced at three previous Finals, effectively the amateur road cycling veterans and masters world championships, in addition to last years qualifier event. “I just love competing at the highest level,” he says.
“I am riding in the time trial and the road race, but not knowing who our competition will be makes it hard to predict any results,” says McLean. Entries close for the event on 17 August, at which time riders will be able to assess the strength and depth of the field they will be up against.
McLean’s preparations for the event have been hampered by frustrating niggles, but now that he has identified the cause, he feels he is back on track.
“I have not had an ideal build up by any means.” says Mclean. “I have battled with injury and ill health. Eventually I found out I was suffering from advanced arthritis. I am now managing it and training hard for UWCT Final.”
“I will prepare as best as I can and race as hard as I can,” vowed McLean. “Whenever I line up, I do so with the goal of trying to win. As long as I give it 100% I will be satisfied.”
McLean got into road cycling through his early forays into triathlons. “I did some triathlons while at varsity and immediately fell in love with the cycling discipline.”
McLean can count on plenty of local support when he races the UCI World Cycling Tour Final time trial and road race as the local cycling fans rally behind one of the sports household names.
Programme of events
UCI World Cycling Tour Final 2012
Monday 20th August 2012 – Social Hill Dash Time Trial
Tuesday 21st August 2012 – Social Mt Verde Road Race – 54km
Thursday 23rd August 2012 – UWCT Time Trial Competition
Saturday 25th August 2012 – UWCT Final 61km Race and UWCT Final 96km Race
Sunday 26th August 2012 – UWCT 112km Race