Long trip for Ernst & Co | TeamSA - TeamSA

Long trip for Ernst & Co

Our national para-cycling squad has left on the long trip to Baie Comeau Quebec in Canada, venue for the 2011 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup final.

Around 400 cyclists from 30 countries will be in action at the World Cup which runs from 8-10 July.

Spearheading the team is Ernst van Dyk and the Stellenbosch athlete will be hoping he gets over the effects of a recent cold/flu bug.

He’s currently busy making the transition from wheelchair racing to handcycling, the discipline he’ll be competing in next week.

He aims to peak at the UCI World Championships in Denmark in September. To this end, Canada will be another step towards medal contention, following a successful build-up in Switzerland and Spain. Experts reckon though that Van Dyk is on course for a potential bronze medal in Canada.

“Usually it takes me about four to six weeks to transition before I feel like I’m ready to take on the best in the world,” said Van Dyk as the team departed. “The Europeans seem to be stronger, earlier in the season, this year. Normally I feel in peak shape by August/September but I’m feeling really good now fitness-wise and looking forward to making a stab at the podium in Canada.”

Riaan Nel, silver medallist at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games, forms part of the SA squad in the tricycling discipline

Conspicious by his absence from the squad, H2 handcyclist Stuart McReadie has entered a short rest period ahead of the UCI World Championships in Denmark.

McReadie, who has climbed in competition from finishing 22nd at world Cups to finishing in sixth spot (H2 ÔÇô TT) and seventh (H2 ÔÇô Road Race) in Australia and sixth place in Spain recently, will undergo specialist gym training with the Sports Science Institute of South Africa to hone his skills in preparation for possible medal contention in Denmark this September.

The first obstacle that Team SA now need to overcome is the marathon 42-hour travel time to get to the competition venue.