Our road para-cycling team got six gold medals on day one of the P1 Paracycling continental championships in Accra, Ghana at the weekend, writes Mark Etheridge.
Day one saw the time trials being raced on a 6.4 kilometre lap of the “Kanda Highway”.
Just one athlete failed to get gold and that was Keenan Bickle who had a mechanical problem and failed to finish in the T1 class.
Probably the most impressive ride in the time trials came from Andries Scheepers. Said team manager Ciska Austin: “He’s a rider from Rustenburg in the H4 category and the same class as our world champion Ernst van Dyk. I see some great opportunities when these two are able to start teaming up.” Scheepers covered his three laps of the circuit in 31min 37sec.
The team is a fine mix of experience and youth says Austin. “For some of our riders it’s the first time they are participating out of the country. Madre Carinus from Stellenbosch is our ‘veteran’ here as she had been representing SA for some time already. Madre and fellow Tri-cycle riders Keenan (from Kimberley) and Yusthin Lintnaar (Paarl) are the only riders in their categories (T1 men, T2 men, T1 Women), however, it is creating an understanding to the communities of Ghana who are hard at work to develop the sport and we are now assisting to showcase it and also score some valuable points (and jerseys) by doing so.”
Looking at the other results Austin said: “Kimberley’s Thabo Sesing is our C5 rider ÔÇô┬áa young talent we can nurture towards 2016 and the brightest smile around! Lourens de Kock (pilot for the tandem and also our team doctor should something unforeseen happen to anybody) and our B2 rider, Francois De Kock started well in the TT and made up a lot of time. But during the last lap they broke quite a number of spokes and we had to hold our breath until the results finally cameÔÇª..with a gold for them.”
Team “captain” is James van Rensburg and he’s doing a great job of guiding the team and keepings all positive with many a quirky inputs.
Sunday’s final day of the event was scheduled to see the road races being contested
Summary of Team SA’s opening day
Francois Bezuidenhout & Lourens De Kock did four laps of 6.4km in a time of 41 mins 44 sec.
Thabo Sesing did his three laps TT in 32 min 44s (C4)
James Van Rensburg’s group had three participants and he did three laps in 29min 21 secs (C5)
Andries Scheepers did three laps in 31min 37secs. (H4)
Yustin Lintnaar did his two laps in 24min 09 secs (T2)
Madre Carinus did her one lap in 14min 30secs (T2)
Keenan Bickle mechanical, DNF (T1)