By Mark Etheridge
South African cycling is all smiles after some super successes in the UCI World Para-Cycling world championships in Greensville, South Carolina.
Paralympian veteran Ernst van Dyk picked up a silver and gold in the time trial and road race, as did fellow Paralympian Pieter du Preez.
Van Dyk, winner of a historic 10 Boston Marathon wins, was second behind Alex Zinardi in the H5 time trial. Of course the fact that he dropped his chain twice didn’t make things any easier. In fact it made it even more meritorious that he was only 20sec behind the Italian ex Formula one racing driver.
He then went on to cap a great Championships for SA in the H5 road race, the final event of the championship.
The contest took place over six laps for a total of 61.2km and Van Dyk outsprinted Zenardi to win in 1hr 43min 03sec, both racers being credited with the same time.
Du Preez took silver in the H1 time trial and then gold and the rainbow jersey in the H1 road race. Fellow South African George Rex was fourth in the T1 time trial. There was also a gold medal earlier in the championships for Justine Asher in the hand-cycling event.
It was a great championship for team coach Ricky Kulsen, also the coach at the London 2012 Paralympics. On Monday, not only was it gold for Du Preez and Van Dyk, his son Ethan celebrated a birthday back home in Paarl.