Sunday saw the departure of the Para-cycling squad selected to represent South Africa at the 2011 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships, beginning Thursday 8 September until Sunday 11 September 2011 in Roskilde, Denmark.
The South African team has performed very well at the two UCI World Cup events held earlier this year, having earned a tally of one gold, 2 silver and 3 bronze medals. Competition at the World Championships will be considerably tougher, but it is certain that the 9-member South African team will give it their absolute best as they compete against 700 riders from many countries around the world.
Medal hopeful Stuart McReadie has rapidly risen through the world rankings in the infancy of his racing career, and at 44-years of age, is on a disciplined 5-6 week official training program for the first time ever.
“I used to swim about a kilometre each day, more for ‘maintenance’ than a training regime,” said McReadie, who has fully embraced the idea of racing competitively at world-class events. “I started competitive hand cycling in September 2008 and raced my first world cup in Spain in June/July 2010. Let’s hope the past 6 weeks of training bears the results.”
Stuart has steadily climbed the world rankings, and finished 6th in the road race and time trials of the Spanish world cup earlier this year. He then missed the Baie Comeau world cup in Canada to focus on his training for this trip.
“Participating in the TT and road race were an indication that I could be very competitive, so racing in the world cups has been a natural progression,” continued Stuart. “My training focus for the world champs has been on pure strength, which has entailed interval-training and pushing hard gears for hill climbs; one-arm riding has assisted in building strength in my arms.”
South Africa’s World Para-cycling Championship Squad:
Ernst van Dyk – H4 Hand Cyclist
Stuart McCreadie – H2 Hand Cyclist
Jaco Nel – C2 Cyclist
Kamelen Kleinsmith – Visually impaired, tandem
Michelle van Rensburg – Pilot, tandem
Goldy Fuchs – T2 Tricyclist
Gerhard Viljoen– T2 Tricyclist
Riaan Nel– T2 Tricyclist
Madre Carinus– T2 Tricyclist
Team Manager: JC van der Walt
Coach: Elrick Kulsen
Physiotherapist: Elmari Smit
Mechanic: Pieter Jansen
General Secretary: Ciska du Plessis Austin