Four-time Subaru sani2c and national marathon champion Kevin Evans will make his competitive comeback from injury at the three-day KwaZulu-Natal event that starts on 19 May.
Team 360 Life’s Evans (32) and team-mate David George (35) were considered the best hope for an all-South African win at this month’s Absa Cape Epic ÔÇô until Evans fell and broke his collarbone during the first stage. The injury was a major disappointment who had suffered an earlier setback in December when he had to undergo emergency surgery for a perforated appendix.
Evans said there had been some minor complications from the fall because he already had a plate in that shoulder from a similar break 10 years ago. Despite the fact that the bone had become quite brittle, the plate was successfully replaced and additional screws inserted.
Following a visit to the radiologist last week, Evans said everything ÔÇ£looked good and in placeÔÇØ but confirmed last night that he had been advised to pull out of the Fairbairn Capital/Old Mutual joBerg2c, which he had been planning to ride from 29 April to 7 May. His withdrawal also sidelines George. ÔÇ£Missing joBerg2c is quite upsetting,ÔÇØ said Evans, ÔÇ£part of me still says take a chance and do it.ÔÇØ
He said the 900-kilometre race would have been part of his preparation for the world marathon championships in Italy in June. ÔÇ£Ironically, the enforced break has put me in a good position. I’ve had more rest than in the past six seasons and will be fresher for worlds.ÔÇØ
He said his sponsors had been very supportive. ÔÇ£It’s great to know that I don’t have to take risks to perform.ÔÇØ
The rider, who is based in Plettenberg Bay, said he anticipated a quick recovery of form. After 10 days of rest, he resumed training on a stationary bike last week ÔÇô with one arm initially in a sling. He trained on his road bike this week and although his collarbone passed the test, he felt the mountain bike might just be too great a risk at this stage.
According to his team, Evans might support George in the MTN series race in Tulbagh in mid-May as a test-run for the Subaru sani2c, where they plan to make a competitive bid for the title. “I’m looking forward to the sani2c ÔÇô it’s a lovely event and I’ve had a good run,ÔÇØ said Evans, referring to the fact that he’s won it every year he’s entered ÔÇô each time with a different partner.
This year will be the first time he defends his title with the same team-mate.