Johannesburg – The successful 2015 South African National Track Championships drew to a close on Saturday with some exciting events taking centre stage at the Hector Norris Park Track as the usual suspects came to the surface with Nolan Hoffman, Jean Smith and ladies favourite Maroesjka Matthee all recording victories on the final day of competition.
The event has been hailed as a success by the President of Cycling South African, William Newman, and he was quick to come and thank everyone that was involved in putting together such a successful event.
“We really had a fantastic five days of racing this week at the Hector Norris Park,” a visibly happy Newman said. “Not even a little bit of rain could dampen the overall success of the event and I am very encouraged by a number of factors that have come from the national champs which excites me for the future of track racing in our country.”
The event attracted a large number of entries from all over the country in all of the varying age groups and having a broad spectrum of riders was something that Newman was encouraged by as well as the amount of riders that came from other disciplines.
“We had a large number of entries for the national championships which shows that track cycling is still very popular as well as getting a large number of women entries at the event also makes me excited as it shows a growth amongst females.
“Another aspect that I found promising was the amount of road riders that came across to compete in the track champs. We are aware that track provides a good base for all the other cycling disciplines so it was great seeing teams like Team Europcar and Bonitas getting involved,’ he added.
Getting the youth involved in track cycling is something that Newman feels is important and he was encouraged by the numbers in the junior age groups as well as the talent that was on display.
“The standard of racing through the five days was top class and that is exciting for us as well as the talent that was on display in the junior events, we are very heartened by what is coming through at the moment.
“A youngster like Mitchell Sparrow was inspirational through the week and I think he might have set some times that were faster than the elites in the Under-18 age group!
“I was also very happy with the Under-16 age group as they are showing good progression as well as the riders who have jumped into the junior category and are making their way towards the elites in a few years,” Newman mentioned.
Newman has stressed the importance of growing the awareness of track cycling throughout the country and amongst potential corporate investors and he does not see why the sport should not go from strength to strength because of the appeal as a spectator sport.
“The potential of track cycling as a sport that people can enjoy is huge! It is a sport that can provide entertainment because of the fact that you can see all of the action and so being able to appeal to spectators will bring with it the possibility of investment.
“I am busy trying to build the awareness around the need for an indoor, wood track velodrome somewhere in the country and if we can get a world class facility then I see no reason why we can’t compete with the best in the world,” a positive Newman explained.
The importance of track cycling as a base was something that Newman highlighted and he used the example of South African and Team Abantu track ace Nolan Hoffman.
“Nolan is a great example of someone who has created a great base through track cycling. He has won the Cape Town Cycle Tour on a number of occasions and is one of the top road riders because of the speed base that he created on the track.
“If we can get more riders cutting their teeth on the track then cycling in general will benefit,” he concluded.
SUMMARY OF RESULTS – SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL TRACK CHAMPIONSHIPS DAY FIVE
Under 10 Boys Team Pursuit (2000m)
Under 12 Boys Team Pursuit (2000m)
Under 14 Boys Team Pursuit (2000m)
2.Western Cape 3:28.36
Under 16 Boys 1500 (1.5km)
1.Devin Shortt 2:00.96
Junior Men Elimination
1.Richard Waylin Young
Elite Men Elimination
Women 40-49 Points Rce (10km)
1.Elisa Gianchino 30 points
2.Amanda Wray 17 points
3.Annelise Pretorius 7 points
Women 50+ Points Race (10km)
1.Diane Scullard 5pts
2.Val Scheppel 5pts
3.Ilna Lemmer 2pts
Under 14 Boys Points Race (10km)
1.Imtiyaaz van der Hoven 65pts
2.Caleb Buchel 62pts
3.Eric Kros 9pts
35-44 Men Points Race (20km)
1.Gert Fouche 33pts
2.Jacques Fullard 20pts
3.Adam Connor 15pts
Under 16 Boys Points Race (20km)
1.Callum McGillivray 51pts
2.Daniyal Matthews 39pts
3.Daniel Skews 27pts
Elite Women Keirin (2km)
Junior Men Keirin (2km)
Elite Men Keirin (2km)
Men 55-64 Points Race (10km)
1.Gerrit Schepers 24pts
2.Noel Ziady 9pts
23.Johan Spies 8pts
Men 65+ Points Race (10km)
1.Wendell Bole 12pts
45-54 Men Points Race (15km)
1.Douw Grundling 49
2.Bruce Viljoen 46
3.Glen Brydges 14
Open Men Madison (40km)
1.Abantu / Morne van Niekerk -Joshua Buchel
2.VWE / Steven van Heerden – Jac-Johann Steyn
3.Helivac / Jp van Tonder – Jean Spies
More information on the South African National Track Championships and the event’s full programme can be found at http://www.cyclingsa.com/2015-pmb-mtb-festival