Proud podium place for SA's Colyn | TeamSA - TeamSA

Proud podium place for SA’s Colyn


Young South African road cyclist Catherine Colyn has raced to her first European podium place, writes MARK ETHERIDGE.

Colyn, 22, is in Europe for a racing stint with the Maaslandster international women’s cycling team, based in Suid-Limburg, Netherlands where she’ll be competing from till 25 September.

She lined up for the Emptinne Grand Prix Ets S.Heulens in Belgium, a hilly kermesse event raced over laps of five kilometres.

Colyn, who lives in Paarl when she’s home in South Africa, took third place to earn herself a bronze medal.

She shared her thoughts with Team South Africa after the medal-winning race. ‘There were two decisive climbs, one coming into the finishing straight and then one that midway on the lap. Each lap there were constant attacks on each climb, and the peloton became smaller and smaller.

‘With the pace being high and the route being one where natural selection would take place I made sure I was as close as possible to the front of the peloton.

‘With 10km to go I found myself in the race-winning move with two other riders from Belgium. My teammate Serene Lee, rode on the front of the peloton to try and keep the peloton at bay.

‘The gap remained at 10 seconds for the whole 10km. Coming into the finish the other two riders out sprinted me at the end and I came in third.’

Lee hails from Singapore and is the national elite women’s road champion. Winner Kaat Hannes from the Jos Feron team with silver going to Jesse Vandenbulcke of the Keukens Redant outfit.

And it was a happy Colyn, part of Team SA at the last African Games in Congo, three years ago: ‘This is my first ever European podium. I honestly think I was happier than the girl who won the race.

‘This past month has been quite difficult with me crashing in my first tour, forcing me to take time off from racing and then having disappointing races, so this third place really brought tears to my eyes. I’m so happy I could share it with my best friend and teammate Serene.’

Photo: a beaming Colyn crosses the finish line, by Franky Crosserke Schoonvliet

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