Colyn collecting valuable racing experience in Netherlands | TeamSA - TeamSA

Colyn collecting valuable racing experience in Netherlands

A member of Team South Africa at last year’s African Youth Games, Cathering Colyn is currently in the Netherlands picking up some international experience.
The 18-year-old Paarl rider, pictured in action above, has been based in the town of Geleen, since early May.
And despite going down with a chest and nose complication that required antibiotics she’s bounced back well and getting into the racing experience.
She shared some of her experiences with Cycling Direct and also provided Road to Rio 2016 with a list of the events she’s already raced and the races she’s still planning to take on.
‘Geleen is seen as the more hillier part of the Netherlands.
‘During the week when I’m not racing I train around Valkenburg or some of the other local villages. Sometimes I take a trip to Belgium as it is so close. I am starting to find my way around the little villages and finding all the awesome training routes. It was quite a difficult task to find a hill or road where I can do my blocks on but after a month I have finally found a good one.
‘When not on my bike I’ll go and visit friends or take a bus to Sittard or Valkenburg and do a bit of shopping and have a coffee or take a run around Geleen and Oud-Geleen.
‘Racing in the Netherlands is usually very flat and very fast. In a normal race the average speed will range from about 38-43 kph. I finished 75th in my first club race out of roughly 200 elite women and 27th and at 19th out of 70 elite women in a criterium which consisted out of a 1.2 kilometre lap which we raced 60 times.
‘I’ve had my fair share of crashing in recent races, especially when racing with the junior girls there are more crashes in the bunch but I’m getting better at avoiding action now.
‘Racing here in Europe is so much different than racing back in South Africa because it is much faster – the roads are narrow, the bunches much, much bigger and everyone wants to be at the front and brings out their claws to stay at the front of the bunch, they do not take prisoners.
‘I was very lucky to be given the opportunity to race in the colours of Matrix Pro Cycling in the Lotto Cycle Cup, a UCI 1.2 race. I gained a lot of experience from the other girls on the team and was a great introduction to European racing especially Belgium racing. I normally race as part of the Bergklimmers club who are on their way to becoming one of the top clubs in the Netherlands which is a great opportunity for me.
‘Recently I raced some club races higher up in Friesland which is hard because of the wind always blows and it is so flat. Last weekend we raced in 22e Wadro ronde van Kerspelen up there. A field of over 180 girls on the starting line with 108km to ride. We first did one small local lap and then two bigger laps and then five more local laps.
‘The bunch split within the first lap due to the strong cross winds and high speeds, I made the front split. Going onto the second bigger lap the girls put the hammer down in the tail wind cross winds, speeds went up to about 55 kph on the flat roads. I was sitting in the wrong place in the front bunch and the girl in front of me dead wheeled me and I could not bridge the gap so I was dropped.
‘The peloton picked me up and the pace was high because the race favourites were caught out by the cross winds and missed the break. I did my fair share of the work at the front of the bunch and after a few laps we caught the break.
‘Coming into the sprint it was very scary because the girls were fighting and trying to get to the front of the very fast bunch. Imagine 80 girls trying to all get to the front on a road that is about a car width wide and with sharp corners. I tried my best to sprint with the girls but my legs were finished. But I am happy I finished with the front group in 55th place, and for my efforts throughout the race, considering that I am a better climber than I am on the flat roads.
‘I’m very happy that I will be riding the BeNe Ladies Tour, for Isorex Ladies Cycling Team as a guest rider. It is a UCI 2.2 rated three-day tour between 17-19 July so I’m very excited for that chance.
‘I must say thanks to Steven Sergeant for helping and mentoring me whilst I am here and to Jill Bezuidenhout for all her help and of course my coach John Wakefield.

5 July – Memoriam Guido van Nauw Beveren-Waas
6 – GP Betonwerken van de Moere Watervliet
10 – G.P. Sofie de Vuyst Borsbeke
17-19 – Bene Ladies Tour
21 – Strijpen
24 – Bambrugge
25 – Kermisprijs St-Maria-Lierde
26 – Haaltert

GP Groenen Grope Voor Vrouwen – 75th of 200 entrants
RK Zuid And RK Zuid-Oost And Limburg – 27/70
Wielerronde van TGinneken – 19/70
Wardo Ronde van de Kerspelen – 55/190
2de GP van Eyck sport ermbodegem-terjoden – 28/75