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SA’s elite cyclists take to the road in Durban

The cream of South African cycling took to the 8.2-kilometre time trial circuit at the 2014 Time Freight SA Road Cycling Championships along the Durban beachfront on Thursday.

London 2012 Olympian and 2013 Tour de France yellow jersey wearer, Daryl Impey (Orica GreenEdge), will be out to defend his national jersey over the 40km distance. He will no doubt have a target on his back as Team MTN-Qhubeka’s Jay Thomson and Jaco Venter, four-times Xterra World Champion Conrad Stoltz (Specialized), Kevin Benkestein and Paul van Zweel (EuropcarSA), Hendrik Kruger (Bonitas Pro Cycling), and a host of acclaimed Elite cyclists will be hot on his heels, all determined for victory.

The first elite competitor kicked off the day’s racing at 7am, while Impey was the last elite scheduled set off at 07:57.

The women’s race sees fellow London 2012 Olympian Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Hitec Products) defending her title over a distance of 30km. Moolman-Pasio will bring her A-game against the likes of Leandri du Toit, Heidi Dalton (Lotto-Belisol ÔÇô new to the elite category), Cherise Stander (RE:CM) and Mikayla Oliver (Bestmed a[s]g), to name a few.

The women start racing at 10.30am, with Moolman-Pasio departing at 10.35.

The Under-23 men will see 2013 World Championship road race silver medallist Louis Meintjes (Team MTN-Qhubeka) as the final starter in the 40km distance in a field of 28 competitors. The Under-23 category starts at 8:40, with Meintjes setting off at 9:34.

A total of 33 junior men will line up with the first rider out of the blocks at 10:36 ÔÇô Ivan Venter (Nuwater) will be the last rider to depart at 11:39. The first junior woman will start racing at 12:30, with Michelle Benson (Bestmed a[s]g) the last to depart at 12:35.

Veteran cyclists raced against the clock in the time trial discipline on day two of the 2014 Time Freight SA Road Cycling Championships along the windy Durban beachfront on Wednesday.

The day began in very humid and warm conditions at 7am when the Men 30-34 age category took to the streets, each cyclist starting 30-seconds apart. Men and women raced in five-year age increments in these hotly contested categories.

Cycling South Africa’s Road Commission Director, Hendrik Wagener, is very happy with the way the event is unfolding. ÔÇ£Kelvin (du Sart, race organiser) and his team has done a very good job,ÔÇØ said Wagener. ÔÇ£With no traffic on the route, no road cyclist could ask for more than this.

A veteran cyclist racing against the clock in front of the Moses Mabhida Stadium at the 2014 Time Freight SA Road Cycling Championships in Durban on Wednesday. Picture: Mylene Paynter

ÔÇ£The Durban beachfront area is perfect for the time trial. It’s not too technical, which means there are no tight and tricky turns, and it is a fast track. The under-16 boys set some fast times yesterday.ÔÇØ

Wagener said that the Durban TT route could compare to any time trial route in the world.