Olympic governing body SASCOC has sent condolences to the family and friends of South African cycling legend Ertjies Bezuidenhout.
Bezuidenhout, 56, died in Pretoria on Wednesday after suffering a major stroke shorty after completing a road cycling event on the East Rand at the weekend.
The 103-kilometre Brakpan race had been Bezuidenhout’s first race in 22 years and he had been preparing for the race for the last six months.
“Ertjies was one of our best-known cyclists and a true credit to the sport,” said SASCOC CEO Tubby Reddy. “There’s no doubting that the popularity of the sport was due in no small measure to people introduced to the sport through his exploits. We wish his family and friends, and also the cycling fraternity, well at this very sad time.”
Bezuidenhout, an exceptionally gifted climber, won the gruelling Rapport Cycle Tour in 1984 as well as three Argus Cycle Tours (1981, 1984, 1986). He won the Rapport Tour King of the Mountain title on several occasions.