Absolute Motion in partnership with KZN Cycling is proud to present to you the 2021 KZN Road Champs at an all new venue – Sani Pass Hotel. Come smash some personal goals as we head into an exciting new year of racing.
Time Trial: 16 January 2021
Venue: Sani Pass Hotel
Road Race: 17 January 2021
Venue: Sani Pass Hotel
Registration and Late Entries: Absolute Moon 14 January
Sani Pass Hotel: 15 January
Registration Only: Sani Pass Hotel 16 January
Enter on: https://www.cyclingsa-events.co.za/app_v2/
At the recent SA National MTB XCO Championships in Cape Town, the KZN flag was flown high by a number f riders with some excellent results being achieved and KZN Cycling was able to play a role in ensuring that KZN remains a Winning Province.
In the Junior Men category, Daniel van der Watt had a great ride in this extremely competitive age group and finished third taking home the bronze medal. His progress has been really good this year despite the trying times and this result is sure to set him up for future success. Henry Liebenberg made the trip to Cape Town as the defending U23 Men’s jersey holder, without any expectations of a good result (as he has recently recovered from some health issues and has not been able to train for a number of weeks) but his class and natural ability was on show and he walked away from the event with a very credible 5th place which in the circumstances, was a huge achievement.
While our young men did well at the event, the main accolades of the weekend went to Frances Janse van Rensburg who is the new U23 Women’s National Champion. Frances has predominantly been a road and track cyclists and has achieved great results in both these disciplines at both national and continental levels, and has recently taken up mountain biking in a serious way and with the result on the weekend, it has obviously been a successful transition.
For the past number of years, all involved with the KZN Cycling Development plan have been making continual improvements and innovations and now, the programme is recognised as the leading development programme on the African Continent and there are very few programmes anywhere in the world that can rival what has been achieved in KZN with the support of the KZN Department of Sport & Recreation over the past few years. This is certainly the case in the cycling realm, and it is even looked at as one of the leading general sports development programme with principles that can be used across all disciplines.
Alec Lenferna was asked to meet with and make a presentation to the leading role players of the Egyptian Cycling Federation as well as the Egyptian Ministry of Youth and Sport so that they can learn of what KZN Cycling is doing and how these lessons could be transposed into their cycling and other sports programmes.
It is great to see a homegrown programme receiving international attention that has been very well received.
Apart from introducing young riders to the sport through the clinics programme and nurturing the talented riders in the higher performance element of the project, a significant pillar of the KZN Cycling Development programme is to undertake capacity building programmes across all the districts. This programme is structured so as to be able to provide training in the various “backend” elements of the sport to adults across the province so that the sport can be grown at all levels.
Introductory courses are run in elements such as coaching, mechanics, event safety, event management, officiating and club and event administration and over the past years, a large number of people have passed through the programmes and are active in the different fields.
This year, focus was also given to some “high end” courses to not only increase the overall capacity in the province, but also with the express aim of making people more employable in the different elements allied to the sport. A national commissaire course and also a team manager’s course was held earlier in the year, and a number of people from these courses have already been active at the different events in the province. These courses were supplemented by a “bike technicians course” at the end of 2019 and recently the first ever Trail Builders course being held with 15 x representatives from four of the KZN districts attending. The course was run by Tim Keep who was able to impart his knowledge and experience to the attendees – both in the lecture room and more importantly, in the practical sessions that made up part of the course. This all culminated with a new trail being designed and built at the Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg and the experience gained by all will stand them in good stead in being more employable with new skills in their home districts.
It’s no use running training programmes if people are not going to be able to use the skills learnt so it’s exciting that those that attended the bike technicians course have now been contracted to undertake the extensive bike maintenance programme that has started to roll out across the province. KZN Cycling has a large number of clinic and racing standard bikes in all 11 x districts that require continual maintenance, and as time goes on, through the normal rollout of the programme, these bikes and other linked equipment require more and more upkeep. The process has started this past week with all of the trained mechanics being on duty sorting out all the uMgungundlovu District bikes and equipment and over the next weeks, they will be going out to all the districts to carry out the necessary repairs and upkeep of the equipment.
As the programme builds, so too will all these elements increase.
Since the start of the New Year, it seems
that things have been moving in fast forward around the development programme
with all that has been going on of late. The district officers have been at the
schools on a regular basis making sure that the clinics programme across all
eleven districts are ongoing and more than 8000 x youngsters have gone through
the programme since the beginning of January alone. Capacity building courses
in King Cetshwayo, eThekwini and iLembe have all gone ahead and these will be
followed soon by the courses in uMgungundlovu. The racing seasons have all
started off and large groups from the respective development HP squads have all
been competing with some superb results being achieved including various
provincial championships titles and a number of podium positions across the
The development programme is ever
changing and what started three years ago, is now a mature programme that is
now being used as a template for all provinces in the country as well as other
countries in the developing world. A good result for all that have been
involved thus far.
The 2020 KZN Provincial Road Championships was successfully staged by Johann Wykerd and his team supported by the KZN Road Commission in Wartburg on the weekend of 25th & 26th January. A good size field across all the varying age categories including a large contingent of KZN Cycling Development HP squad riders competed in the time trial and road race competitions on Saturday and Sunday respectively. The roads in the Wartburg area have been used on a number of different occasions over the years for major events including National and African Continental Road Championships and also the UCI Masters Road World Championships as far back as 2012, and the minimal traffic in the area allied to the rolling nature of the terrain always makes for great racing conditions – and yet challenging enough to ensure all riders are tested completely.
Saturday’s time trial saw races over 15km, 20km and 30km – the length varying according to the age categories – and despite a large proportion of the main men’s race top twenty results being filled by the older gents, it was the impetuous youngster, Travis Stedman, still a Junior rider, that won the day and was crowned as the Provincial Time Trial Champion. Frances Janse van Rensburg and Tiffany Keep, both U23 women took the top sports in the women’s event.
On day two, the various road race competitions took place in hot and windy conditions that put paid to many a rider’s chances and in the earlier races, the development squad performed exceptionally well with a clutch of medals attained, including a Championships title in the U17 boys race for Thabiso Zindela who had been narrowly beaten in the TT the day before. Tiffany Keep and Frances Janse van Rensburg were again the top two women on the day, but with their positions reversed with Tiffany coming out on top in the road race. In the main man’s race of the day, the KZN Road Team were well represented in the break of the day but again no one could keep up with Travis Stedman who rode exceptionally well to take the overall title as well as his Junior category. Henry Liebenberg (U23) was in second place overall and the winner of the U23 category with Luke Chambers rounding out the podium and winning the Elite category gold.
Another good provincial championships staged and all riders are looking forward to carrying their good form forward to the National Road Championships in Mpumalanga in February.