Popular junior mountain biker Luke Roberts is eager to make an impression on the Msunduzi Road Challenge cycle race on his road bike and says the race, Africa’s only leg of the UCI World Cycling Tour, is ideally placed in the cycling calendar.
Having recently earned himself an impressive third place finish in A-batch of the Amashova Durban Classic, despite having competed on his much heavier and slower mountain bike, Roberts is now eager to tackle the challenging yet manageable Msunduzi Road Challenge.
“In my opinion the timing of this year’s race makes it the ideal final preparation for the big 94.7 in Johannesburg in two weeks’ time,” said Roberts. “It’s two weeks after the Amashova so the body would have recovered nicely by now and it gives the guys the chance to keep the speed in the legs and put in their last hard session before taking it easy in the final weeks leading up to the 94.7.
“With the Msunduzi being a new race and one which wasn’t on the calendar at the start of the year it’s probably taken a little longer for people to hear about it but it all looks set to become a really great race in the future,” he added.
Still very much in his base training phase after enjoying a month off in September, Roberts is uncertain how things will go for him over the 126km of the hilly terrain but is excited to take on this new challenge.
“I took my annual time off after the MTB World Champs so I’m definitely still getting back into things and still getting some distance into the legs at this stage,” said Roberts. “I always ride to win so that will certainly be my aim for this race and I will definitely give it my all on the day. I know the area well and it will be tough but the fact that it’s pretty hilly suits me perfectly,” he added. “Its early days still though so we’ll just have to wait and see how things go.”
Having recently celebrated his final days at Thomas More College in Kloof, the Msunduzi will provide Roberts with the perfect opportunity to enjoy a final competitive burst in the saddle before turning his attention towards the fast approaching matric exams in a couple of weeks’ time.
The Msunduzi Road Challenge cycle race takes place on Sunday 30 October in Pietermaritzburg and is preceded by a time trial on Saturday 29 October.