A team of nine cyclists will fly the flag for Team SA at the UCI World Road Cycling Championships to be held in Copenhagen, Denmark from 19-25 September.
The team will be made up of four women and five under-23 mens’ riders. The elite women have been campaigning in Europe as part of the race programme launched two years ago, to learn and adapt to the racing lifestyle of that of the European teams.
Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio is permanently based in Aalst, Belgium whilst riding for the Lotto Ladies Team during the 2011 season. Her fellow Lotto Ladies Team teammates visit Europe on a rotational basis, to compete on the international circuit.
The women begin a five-week racing block to take them to the World Championships in Denmark, and started Saturday (20 August) with the Troph├®e d’Or F├®minin in France. Joanna van de Winkel, Moolman-Pasio and Robyn de Groot feature in the starting line up.
Christopher Jennings (Burgos Monumental 2016), who earned the best young rider at the Cell C Tour of South Africa, and Johann van Zyl (riding for the U23 feeder team of Caja Rujal pro continental team) have been campaigning in Spain since March this year.┬áBoth riders have been targeted as part of the 2016 SASCOC Academy in preparation for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
Jennings beat the current African Continental Champion by 10 minutes at the Mi Aout Bretonne last week. Louis Meintjies’ talents resulted in a signing with the Continental Team Davo Omega Pharma Lotto for 2012, the feeder-team to the Pro Tour team Omega Pharma Lotto, whilst sprinter Raynard Butler has been selected as stagiare (trainee) for the Marco Polo continental team in Europe.┬áReinardt Janse van Rensburg (MTN Qhubeka) has earned some good results from racing in Holland earlier this year.
South Africa’s Junior road cycling athletes have been exposed to six days of top level racing at UCI Juniors Nations Cup racing in the last two months and during this time Cycling South Africa’s Road Commission have elected to rather expose the juniors to multiple days of higher level racing than just a single day at the World Champs.
The junior women’s selection process followed the same yardstick as in previous years by gauging their results against our Elite Women on the local racing circuit. There are currently no junior women competing for podiums in local Elite Women’s racing.
The Elite Men did not qualify in terms of UCI-points for the World Championships according to the UCI selection criteria. The Road Commission has invested in a long-term program whereby the focus is on quality rather than quantity and various plans are being implemented to expose our young talented cyclists to start building this quality.
South Africa’s elite riders have participated in an unprecedented amount of UCI road cycling races via various Continental teams, yet were not able to get the UCI-points required for selection.
Team South Africa for the UCI Championships
Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (road and time trial)
Cherise Taylor (road and time trial)
Robyn de Groot (road)
Joanna Van De Winkel (road)
Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (road and time trial)
Johann van Zyl (road and time trial)
Louis Meintjes (road and time trial)
Christopher Jennings (road)
Raynard Butler (road)