It’s been an action-packed start to 2019.
The 2019 racing season kicked off with Mpumalanga Tour last week for the Elite and under 23 men. Team NAD Pro MTB showed their diversity once again when they were the dominant force in the road tour on home turf in Mpumalanga. After 7 days of racing, Matt Beers (NAD Pro) claimed the overall title from world tour professional, Willie Smit (Katusha- Alpecin). Wessel Botha (NAD) rounded off the podium in third overall and also won the Best Young Rider classification. Travis Barrett (Office Guru Racing u23) secured the King of the Mountains classification, and Rohan Du Plooy (ProTouch Continental ProCycling) made sure on the last day that the team went home with the green Sprinter’s jersey.
Western Cape, Easter Cape, Mpumalanga and Gauteng have all hosted their provincial championships. KZN will host their champs next weekend. All results have been tallied up and Road Cycling Series points allocated to the respective categories, and will be published pending KZN results. #WatchThisSpace
Some footage from the Gauteng Provincial Championships in Pretoria. #behindthehandlebars
UCI Africa: La Tropicale Amissa Bongo
New 2019 South African continental team, ProTouch Continental ProCycling, are currently taking part in their first UCI Africa Tour for 2019, in Central West Africa. La Tropicale Amissa Bonga (Gabon) is a UCI 2.1 event, and will see the likes of German spiriting veteran Andre Greipel take to the start line with Team Arkea Samsic. The first 2 stages of the Tour have already taken place and team Direct Energie have shown their dominance so far, with Italian rider Niccolo Bonifazio winning both stages. Both stages culminated in bunch sprints, with ProTouch rider Rohan Du Plooy finishing 7th in Stage 1, and 14th in Stage 2. Du Plooy is currently sitting in 8th place on GC as we head into Stage 3.
The 7 stage tour, covering 998kms, will be the first UCI Africa Tour that ProTouch participates in in its mission to gain valuable UCI experience and points. More UCI points for SA riders, contributes towards South Africa’s national ranking in Africa, opening up more invitations and opportunities for SA cyclists internationally. #GetSAtoNumberOne
South Africans Performing Internationally
2018 South African national road cycling champion Darly Impey made history last week when he won back-to-back Tour Down Under titles. He became the first cyclist ever to win the Australian Tour two years in a row.
Daryl is one of our international #SupportSATalent brand ambassadors, promoting the development and investment in SA Road Cycling. At the end of 2018, he donated his 2018 Critérium du Dauphiné green jersey, signed by his 2018 Mitchelton-SCOTT team who won the jersey. The jersey is currently on auction and all proceeds go towards the #SupportSATalent Fund – enabling South African athletes to perform. Click on the picture below to find out more details.
Looking back at the 2018 Road Cycling Series Awards, Daryl shared some insights into what it is like racing in the World Tour Pro Peloton and how important self-belief is.
Team Dimension Data‘s Ryan Gibbons, also had a good showing at last week’s Tour Down Under. The young sprinting star finished 11th overall, and was in the White jersey (Best Young Rider) going into the 6th and final. Unfortunately, he was not able to hold onto it until the end of the final stage, missing out on a top 10 GC finish by one position. We look forward to see what this talented young rider has to show this year.
African Continental Road Cycling Championships
The African Continental Road Cycling Championships will take place from the 13th-19th of February 2019, hosted in Ethiopia. The winners of the respective events will be crowned the African champions. South Africa will be sending u23 and Elite athletes to this event, however the selected athletes have not yet been announced.
Road Cycling Series
The Road Cycling Series leaderboards are starting to take shape after the first of the 1-Day Classics, Tours and the various provincials have taken place. This weekend we see the second 1-Day Classic taking place, the 2019 Value Logistics Fast One. The South African National championships will be shortly after that, 7th – 10th February, where the new SA Road & TT Champions will be crowned.
Chapeau, South Africa!