The KwaZulu-Natal provincial Road Cycling Championships, held in Durban and Westville at the weekend, has been hailed by participants as arguably the best ever Provincial or National championship they have ever ridden.
On Saturday the 21st January, the Time Trial was held on a circuit around the Durban Country Club. The course measured up to world standards that allowed the riders to really push their ability and at 8.5 kilometres, the circuit attracted high speeds.
The Time Trial is a race of truth, and veteran Brett Berriman defied the field with a great ride and the fastest time of the day. One of Cycling SA’s Olympic hopefuls, Cherise Taylor averaged over 48km per hour for the event, comfortably winning the ladies Elite title on what she described as one of the best Time Trial courses she had ever ridden.
The Road Race on Sunday was a spectacular affair. With some of the country’s top mountain bikers taking part in the event, there were always going to be fireworks, and the participants did not disappoint the spectators. The course followed a 14km circuit up and down both sides of the M13 freeway from Westville to 45th Cutting. The men and women’s events had a group start for Juniors, U23, Elite and Vets, who were all competing for the overall KZN Championship trophy as well as their respective category championship.
The Men raced 9 laps of the circuit and by the end of the first lap it was evident that there was some serious racing on the go. The circuit enabled spectators to watch the race unfold. Myles Van Muschenbrook (Tasol) made an early attempt on the 4th lap to break away from the constant attacks and surges. By the 5th lap, Myles and Aston Davies had built up a 1min30 lead, with 56km’s to go. This lead soon evaporated and by the end of the 6th lap the bunch was together pushing over 400 watts per lap!
On lap 8 the big attack came with Kevin Evans (360Life) making a break with Burry Stander (Specialized) shadowing his every move. The attack was so severe, the bunch splintered and soon enough Stander and Evans had amassed a 2-minute lead going into the last lap.
Evans tried to shake Stander off his wheel in the final climb, knowing that the younger rider had a very powerful sprint, but Stander stuck with him over the crest and then attacked at that point. Evans stayed on Stander’s wheel and the two had a sprint finish over the last 200 metres.
Stander took the win with Evans in 2nd place. Kevin’s 360Life teammates James Reid and David George finished 3rd and 4th place respectively with Reid taking the U23 win from Brendon Davids (Specialized Sho-Air) and Rourke Croeser (Team Orange Monkey Cannondale) rounding out the podium.
Cherise Taylor (Nashua Mobile) had opted to rather race with the Elite men in her preparation for the year ahead. Cherise finished 6th overall 20-minutes behind the leaders, showing that she will be a force to be reckoned with.
The ladies race was also filled with some great racing, covering eight laps and with a constant battle of cat-and-mouse being played out. The surprise package in this race was Junior woman Heidi Dalton (Nashua). Heidi attacked with a lap to go and powered her way to an unassailable lead. Dalton put her head down and rode the last 14km in true time trial fashion and took line honours as Overall Women’s Champion as well as clinching the Junior ladies crown.
The event was held as a dry run for the upcoming SA Vets, Masters and School Road Cycling Championships to be held on the same courses from 22nd – 25th March 2012.
KZN Cycling would like to thank eThekwini Municipality and Metro Police for the road closure, Hoopers VW for supplying back-up vehicles, and the residents of Westville and Durban.
Full a full set of the results please visit www.mrpriceheroes.co.za <http://www.mrpriceheroes.co.za> .