Two young South African cycling stars are taking full advantage of the numerous races on the American cycling calendar, and are posting some good results while they are at it. Road cyclist Christiaan Kriek and mountain biker Mariske Strauss, both from the Western Cape, are honing their cycling skills and gaining valuable international experience as they continue to improve their results.
Max Knox (24, of SA) and Todd Wells (36, of the USA) of Team Songo-Specialized are gearing up for the challenging 2012 Absa Cape Epic, which takes place from 25 March to 1 April. The race will once again take 1200 riders through some of the Western Cape’s most unspoilt territory, kicking off with the prologue at Meerendal Wine Estate in Durbanville and finishing at the traditional Lourensford Wine Estate.
The cross-country course for the 2012 RockyRoads UCI MTB World Cup Pietermaritzburg hosted its first competition at the weekend, the Momentum Health XCO Internationals, and afterwards the general consensus was that it’s a step up on the 2011 course.
“The guys have found it to be a better course than last year, with more overtaking, shorter climbs, and more technical challenges,” said course designer Nick Floros.
This weekend sees the opening round of the 2012 RockyRoads UCI MTB World Cup Pietermaritzburg presented by Shimano, from 16th to 18th March at Cascades MTB Park.
With riders earning UCI points in the three Momentum Health XCO Internationals, held in KwaZulu-Natal preceding the World Cup, our local SA riders are starting to climb the rankings and move South Africa closer to final qualification for the 2012 London Olympics.
South African downhill star Andrew Neethling made big strides in the UCI MTB World Cup in 2011, including claiming a first ever podium finish at Windham in the USA.
He’s looking to up the ante in 2012, starting at the RockyRoads UCI MTB World Cup Pietermaritzburg.
Apart from being the winner of the inaugural Ironman South Africa, Petr Vabrousek can lay claim to the title of “most frequent” competitor, racing up to three times a week. Although he races approximately fourteen Ironman distance races a year, Vabrousek always puts his young family first.
World famous former Formula One champion Alain Prost has announced his participation in this year’s Absa Cape Epic with well-known international ski champion Sebastien Di Pasqua. Together they will take on the challenging 781km and 16 300m of climbing in the untamed African mountain bike race.