By Mark Etheridge
Youngster Reinardt Janse van Rensburg was the toast of the country’s cycling fraternity on Thursday after winning the individual time trial race at the national road cycling championships in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga.
Just 23, Janse van Rensburg has come on in leaps and bounds the last year and looks to be the future of SA cycling.
The MTN-Qhubeka ace won the individual time trial at All Africa Games in Mozambique in September last year and then went on to win a stage of the Herald Sun Tour in Australia and ended in the top five General Classification in that tour and the Tour of Hainan in China soon after.
“Cloud Nine indeed,” an elated Janse van Rensburg told Road to London 2012 shortly after his victory. “It’s a relief to get that out of way. I believed since the start of the season I could do it over here today.”
Janse van Rensburg clocked 50min 40.25sec on the 50-kilometre course beating United Health’s Jay Thomson into the runners-up spot (50:53.15).
“It was just a question of having the mental strength to endure for 50min to pull it off,” said Janse van Rensburg. “I pushed hard and my ave was around 191BPM. It’s special to win in one of classiest Time Trial fields in recent years. Its just a pity that 2010 champ Kevin Evans and 2011 champ Daryll Impey weren’t here.”
Janse van Rensburg also paid tribute to both the equipment that carried him to victory and the support staff that were behind him all the way.
“It makes a differene to be on some of the best equipment in the world with the TREK speedconcepts and ZIPP aero wheels, as well as the science from Activeworx in the form of training and SRM and other smart methods like the ArcticHeat Cooling vests we used today to warm-up with to keep the core temp down.
“The staff was also super and had everything worked out.. so professional. The team made a major step up this year in terms of structure and it’s evident in the results.”
Pre-race planning was also key. “We came here about two weeks ago to recon all the routes and did a simulation of the TT course. We knew which equipment to use and how to correctly pace oneself on the course. I think we the most prepared out of the competition and it showed.”
In the women’s race over 30km it was Momentum Toyota’s Cherise Taylor who powered to her second consecutive Championship title in 45:34.92.
Just a year younger than the men’s winner, Taylor said afterwards: ÔÇ£It was pretty hard, a time trial is always hard. The competition was tough, but I was so fortunate to have a great team manager David Pieterse, who really motivated me today. I am really ecstatic for winning the title; it is such a hard discipline to win!ÔÇØ
The KwaZulu-Natal south coast rider is now looking forward to Saturday’s women’s road race before she heads off to Europe.
ÔÇ£I hear that Saturday’s route is quite tough. My favourite for Saturday’s race is Ashleigh [Moolman-Pasio or Robyn (de Groot). I hope that the teams come together and make a good race out of it,ÔÇØ said Taylor. ÔÇ£It is a privilege to wear a national jersey.ÔÇØ
Moolman-Pasio ended second in Thursday’s time trial, clocking 46:52.10.
The road championships continue until Sunday.