I would like to start by saying how happy I am being a part of Team Europcar SA!
I was a bit nervous coming back to South Africa and racing for a local team after racing for MTN/Qhubeka in Europe. My first goal was to find a team where I could be happy and enjoy racing on the local circuit. After my bad luck and injuries in Europe the local teams were a bit tentative to sign me but Nicholas White and George Corbett believed in me and offered me a ride which I ended up taking and have no regrets.
The season has been a successful one thus far with many race wins and podiums. I believe this is due to a great team work, excellent communication and tough, power based training. An important part of our successful season was our training camp held at the start of the year in Clarens where the team had a week away from home to bond and create strong friendships together. It feels like the year has been passing quickly but this is probably due to the racing schedule were we have travelled quite a bit around the country and having a good time doing what we love. Every race I have done this year has been a highlight starting with the our first victory of the year, The Fast One. Racing does not always go as planned but we learn from our mistakes and appreciate the wins that much more.
I truly enjoy sharing my experience with the team and have learned so much from my team mates.
Thank you for all the support!
I am feeling good and really motivated after the first few races of the second half of the season.
I competed in the Tour de Fjords last weekend, a three day tour in Norway through some beautiful landscapes. It was tough racing but I
felt the benefits of my focused training. We raced through the valleys of Norway and encountered rain, climbs and tough racing. We finished the tour with two top 10’s. It was great to be back in the racing again after a month of training back at home in Johannesburg over July.
I went from Norway to Milan, Italy, to compete in the Coppa Bernocchi and Coppa Agostoni. It was fast racing from the start as these where also selection races for the Italian World Championship team. Our team had a specific plan for both of these races and we carried out our tactics well. It is always a pleasure going to races with the team as we are all friends and we ride well together, each giving 110% to do our part. It is also nice to see the interest and support that our team has as we race for change in Africa, one bicycle at a time, through Qhubeka.
As an athlete I am always working for improvement. I have been working hard to improve my riding through very hard training, working closely with Dr Austin, and improving my body composition together with Dr Child. I love riding my bike and enjoy the challenge of cycling.
I am looking forward to my upcoming races! Every race is an opportunity to grow stronger in the sport.
Thanks for the support!
The first race here for me was a tough one with freezing weather, wet technical roads, gutters, cobbles and a 200 strong competitive field all wanting to ride at the front. This first race, Ronde van Drenthe did not go well for me but I believe it takes a race or two to find my legs. Youcef and Johan did well by finishing, as only 32 riders completed the course.
The snow here has been a little different to South African weather. It is really cool to see the country side and towns covered in white. We have had two races that have been cancelled due to the snow and bad weather conditions. I am impressed with the race organisation when it comes to these decisions as there are no ifs and buts; they declare it unsafe with plenty of notice.The staff has been great here preparing us riders and the equipment for the races and during day to day activities.
The snow and ice outside makes it impossible to train safely on the road so we have training sessions on the indoor trainers with hard intervals prescribed by our coach. These hard sessions are to maintain our fitness. We also do core strength sessions as per our normal routine. Yesterday we visited the Centrum Ronde Van Vlaanderen Museum as a team to get out the house and have a change in scenery. This was a great team bonding experience where we saw many interesting things and shared many laughs.
I am looking forward to some good weather and the upcoming races.
Hazyview, Mpumalanga, South Africa
Interview done at the team training camp in December