Du Preez wins silver for SA at Road World Championships | TeamSA - TeamSA

Du Preez wins silver for SA at Road World Championships

Du Preez

Pieter du Preez was South Africa’s only men’s medallist as the 2017 UCI Para-Cycling Road World Championships got under way at the magnificent Midmar Dam in Howick, KwaZulu-Natal, on Thursday.

Du Preez, known as ‘Supapiet’, took silver in the men’s H1 time trial raced over 15.5 kilometres. He clocked 46min 52.67sec to end 1:38.53 behind Switzerland’s Benjamin Fruh as Finland’s Harri Sopanen took third in 50:39.42.

Said Fruh: ’Today’s race was beautiful. The profile of the course suited me very well today. It’s better for me when it is steep, the flat isn’t the best for me. The beginning of the lap was very hard and the wind was strong, but it didn’t affect me too much.

‘I’m not too sure if I’ll be as successful in the road race because I think the time trial is my specialty, but I will still try my hardest.’

Meanwhile, in the women’s racing, Du Preez’s compatriot Toni Mould picked up a bronze medal in the T1 time trial (also over 15.5km). Canada’s Shelley Gautier won in 38:03.35 from Russia’s Yulia Sibagatova (38:08.46) with Mould’s time 1:06.38.31.

The Italian cycling federation opened their world championships campaign when four of their riders were crowned world champions.

Germany are hot on Italy’s heels, with their tally of three gold medals from their events on Thursday. The Italian team also claimed a bronze medal, taking their medal tally to five, while Netherlands won two golds, two silvers and a bronze medal.

Exactly 100 riders took part in Thursday’s competition alone, which featured tricyclists and handcyclists for men and women.

UCI time trial world champion two years ago, Alessandro Zanardi, said that it felt amazing to be back in South Africa, a country he last visited in 1993. ‘I always love it here. Just look at the landscape – we are racing in an absolutely incredible country,’ he said, as he gestured towards the magnificent view of the dam with the rolling KZN Midlands’ hills as a backdrop.

Multiple UCI world champion and Paralympic medallist Zanardi had an excellent session on the 23.3km course as the men’s H5 hand cycling class kicked off the afternoon session. ‘The race went very well for me today, it couldn’t have gone any better, because I won.

‘The gap wasn’t that big though, but at the end of the day, whether it’s an hour or two seconds, I got the gold medal, which is wonderful for me. I’m looking very forward to the road race, which is on Saturday for me. I’m holding thumbs and I’m feeling strong, and for me to take another gold home approaching my 51st year would be very special to me.’

Even though she has raced here before, the going was no less tough for Australian Carol Cooke in the women’s T2 Tricycle class. The 56-year-old triumphed over the 15.5km course in a time of 33 min 03.98sec, which she says is ‘my type of course’.

‘I simply love the downhill and love the thrill of going fast,’ said the 2015 UCI time trial world champion. ‘The heat and wind were challenging factors today, and the competition was very close, which made it stressful for me. It was a close race, but I had a wonderful day on the bike and I’m very happy to have the gold.’

In the tricycle category, 2015 UCI time trial world champion Hans-Peter Durst of Germany retained his rainbow jersey in the men’s T2 class after he won his race in a time of 27:41.14. T1 tricyclists Sergei Semochkin of Russia and Canada’s Shelley Gautier won the men’s and women’s races in 35:45.68 and 38:03.35 respectively.

German H4 handcyclist Christiane Reppe was elated with her gold medal, especially since she usually dominates the road races, and had never won a time trial before. After an emotional build-up to the trip to South Africa, where it wasn’t clear whether Reppe would actually be participating in the championships or not, it eventually all came together for her on the day.

‘It was a really tough time trial today because of the ups and downs and the very fast downhills,’ said the 30-year-old. ‘There was a strong side wind and the bike was shaking a bit. The uphills were also very tough. I saw after the first lap that I had a little advantage and the second time around I seemed to extend that advantage.

‘Since I’ve been competing in para-cycling, I haven’t won a time trial – I’m a world champion in the road race, so I’m very happy with the title today.’

Team USA came away with three silver medals from day one’s racing, with Ryan Boyle (24) finishing 16.03 seconds off the pace in the men’s T2 race, while Jill Walsh (54) had a 7.07sec deficit to finish second in the women’s T2 race as well. In the afternoon, it was William Groulx who claimed silver in the men’s H2 race, in a time of 29:25.63.

Born and raised in South Africa and presently residing in the US, Samantha Smith was proud of the team’s achievements on the day. Now part of Team USA as a soigneur, Smith said: ‘I am super excited to be back in my country of birth. I think it is a real privilege to be working for Team USA, and I get really enthusiastic about them doing so well and I enjoy being part of their success.’

In the handcycling category, 2015 UCI time trial world champion Francesca Porcellato of Italy retained her rainbow jersey when she completed the 15.5km course in the women’s H3 class in a time of 31:16.70. Germany’s Andrea Eskau won the women’s H5 race in 27:47.61, while Netherlands rider Carmen Koedood won the H2 class in a time of 51:27.92, also over a distance of 15.5km.

The afternoon session saw Dutchman Jetze Plat claim the gold medal in the men’s H4 race along the 23.3km route in a time of 36:39.14, while Italian Paolo Cecchetto claimed a gold medal in the men’s H3 with a time of 39:30.59.

The championships continue through to Sunday.


Session One

Women’s H5 Time Trial 15.5km
1Andrea Eskau (GER) 1971 27:47.61
2 Laura de Vaan (NED) 1980 29:06.63 +01:19.02
3 Jennette Jansen (NED) 1968 30:09.82 +02:22.21

Women’s H4 Time Trial 15.5km
1 Christiane Reppe (GER) 1987 32:08.05
2 Sandra Graf (SUI) 1969 33:21.34 +01:13.29
3 Svetlana Moshkovich (RUS) 1983 33:22.44 +01:14.39

Women’s H3 Time Trial 15.5km
1 Francesca Porcellato (ITA) 1970 31:16.70
2 Renata Kalaza (POL) 1981 33:14.03 +01:57.33
3 Anna Oroszova (SVK) 1963 33:52.38 +02:35.68

Women’s H2 Time Trial 15.5km
1 Carmen Koedood (NED) 1996 51:27.92
2 Ciara Staunton (IRL) 1985 1:10:24.36 +18:56.44

Women’s H1 Time Trial 15.5km
1 Emilie Miller (AUS) 1995 1:47:32.51

Men’s T2 Time Trial 15.5km
1 Hans-Peter Durst (GER) 1958 27:41.14
2 Ryan Boyle (USA) 1993 27:57.17 +00:16.03
3 Stephen Hills (NZL) 1981 29:21.08 +01:39.94

Women’s T2 Time Trial 15.5km
1 Carol Cooke (AUS) 1961 33:03.98
2 Jill Walsh (USA) 1963 33:11.05 +00:07.07
3 Jana Majunke (GER) 1990 34:14.85 +01:10.87

Men’s T1 Time Trial 15.5km
1 Sergei Semochkin (RUS) 1986 35:45.68
2 Rickard Nilsson (SWE) 1988 38:09.64 +02:23.96
3 Leonardo Melle (ITA) 1971 38:56.77 +03:11.09

Women’s T1 Time Trial 15.5km
1 Shelley Gautier (CAN) 1968 38:03.35
2 Yulia Sibagatova (RUS) 1983 38:08.46 +0:05.11
3 Toni Mould (SA) 1983 1:06:38.81 +28:35.46

Session Two

Men’s H5 Time Trial 23.3km
1 Alessandro Zanardi (ITA) 37:47.96
2 Tim De Vries (NED) 37:50.59 +00:02.63
3 Luis Costa (POR) 38:35.47 +00:47.51

Men’s H4 Time Trial 23.3km
1 Jetze Plat (NED) 36:39.14
2 Rafal Wilk (POL) 38:27.81 +01:48.67
3 Krystian Giera (POL) 39:04.52 +02:25.38

Men’s H3 Time Trial 23.3km
1 Paolo Cecchetto (ITA) 39:30.59
2 Heinz Frei (SUI) 39:55.97 +00:25.38
3 Charles Moreau (CAN) 40:22.98 +00:52.39

Men’s H2 Time Trial 15.5km
1 Luca Mazzone (ITA) 29:19.00
2 William Groulx (USA) 29:25.63 +00:06.63
3 Sergio Garrotte Muaoz (ESP) 31:21.98 +02:02.98

Men’s H1 Time Trial 15.5km
1 Benjamin Fruh (SUI) 45:14.14
2 Pieter du Preez (SA) 46:52.67 +01:38.53
3 Harri Sopanen (FIN) 50:39.42 +05:25.28