Local veteran takes UCI silver

2012-09-01 00:00

ROGER Rennie is no stranger to standing on the podium. However, for this Pietermaritzburg master cyclist, the silver medal he won at last weekend’s UCI World Masters Time Trial Championships will go down as a highlight in his illustrious career.

Since Rennie first heard that Pietermaritzburg had been awarded the honour of hosting this prestigious event, he decided he could not miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime to race against the best in the world right on his doorstep, and decided to blow the cobwebs off his bicycle and get back into training.

The hard work paid off as he earned himself the silver medal in the Veteran 65 to 69 age group. Rennie’s notable achievements include a silver medal at the SA Time Trial Championships in 2006, and bronze medals at both the 2004 and 2005 World Masters Time Trial Championships, which took place in St Johann, Austria. The new addition to his collection tops them all.

Rennie was full of praise for the event organiser, Alec Lenferna, for bringing this level of cycling to Pietermaritzburg, and for the fantastic exposure it has given the city and the province.

Not many may know this, but Pietermaritzburg has been identified as the UCI’s African Cycle City, to be listed among Cycle Cities around the world for hosting international cycling events. The city has already enjoyed visits from international competitors riding in the UCI BMX Supercross, BMX World Champion-ships and the MTB World Cup events in recent years, and will be hosting the best in the world with the UCI MTB World Championships taking place in September next year at the Cascades MTB Park. A

lso, this is the first time in over 30 years that this particular event has been held outside of Europe and its traditional venue at St Johann, Austria. Feedback from the international competitors from 32 countries represented at the UCI World Masters Championships has been positive and full of praise for the support received from the city and the opportunity to race in South Africa.

MOUNTAIN BIKING

A MULTITUDE of cycling events are on offer this weekend. The Howick Highlander Adventure Weekend will be held in Howick at the Karkloof Farmers’ Market, with the trail runs taking place this morning and the MTB rides tomorrow.

The venue, two kilometres outside Howick on the Karkloof Road, offers ample parking and place for families to chill. Adding to the traditional hospitality and planning of the Howick Scouts and Cubs, the covered facilities make this a great venue for a great event. In the tradition of previous Highlander events, the routes are just part of the fun, with plenty of refreshments and hunger busters after the ride.

To assist in putting together a ride of this nature, Wessa, Hans Merensky’s Everdon Estate and private landowners have graciously opened their land for the enjoyment of mountain bikers. Go to www.howickhighlander.co.za for more information.

The Notties Challenge forms part of the Nottingham Road Country Fair this weekend, with plenty of entertainment. For the active ones there are a 10 km and 25 km trail run and a 10 km and 60 km mountain bike event taking place this morning. Late entries will be taken at Nottingham Road Primary School between 6 am to 8 am.

Tomorrow morning is the Stihl Umko Challenge. The seven kilometre and 14 km trail runs start at 7.30 am. After this are the usual MTB races of 45 km (8.30 am), 25 km (9 am) and 10 km (9.30 am). Registration is open at Naawpoort Farm, Richmond, between 6.30 am to 9.30 am. Late entries will be taken.

CYCLING

ENTRIES to the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour, SA’s biggest cycle race, open today. Cyclists are starting to wipe the winter grime from their bicycles and get into action for the summer cycling season.

An event to diarise for September 30 is the all-new Time Freight Wartburg Road Race, which starts and finishes in Wartburg at the Wartburger Hof/ Orion Hotel. It makes use of part of the course used at the recent UCI Masters World Championships. Safety concerns on the traditional Midmar Notts cycle route have caused the organisers and host club, Time Freight Burg Wheelers, to find an alternative safe route to host this popular event, which is one of the oldest on the KZN Cycling calendar.

Race organiser Jill Edwardes of Burg Wheelers is confident that this new route will provide a safe, scenic and enjoyable route for cyclists, which offers a 82 km distance (for those preparing for the Amashova Cycle race on October 14) and a shorter race over 25 km for the youngsters and novices. Entries are open on www.roag.co.za Embroidered hand towels go to the first 500 pre-entries.

MULTISPORT

THE Stihl Treverton Bundu Bash takes place from Treverton School on September 8. There will be entertainment, market stalls and food and beverages on sale throughout the day. More details at www.roag.co.za

The second event of the prestigious CompliMed Midlands Ultra Tri Series takes place on October 7. This is an exciting half-ironman and the sprint distance event is staged in the beautiful setting of Midmar Dam, deep in the heart of the Midlands, and attracts over 800 competitors to each event annually.

The introduction of the Canoe Ultra Triathlon to the exciting line-up means that paddlers from around South Africa will have the opportunity to take on a challenging half-ironman triathlon event. The successful first event in the series took place in March this year with over 750 athletes challenging themselves to the various race distances.

All levels of athletes will enjoy this unique race set in a sceinic environment. A broad range of categories are open that cater for top athletes — weekend warriors as well as relay teams. With a healthy prize purse of R40 000, all of SA’s top triathletes will be battling it out for overall line honours.

For more information on the event and to enter, go to www.midlandsultra.com or e-mail B-Active Sports at info@midlandsul tra.com

Entries are open for the Triple Challenge, which takes place on November 4.

This truly African experience takes athletes and teams on a multisport journey through some of South Africa’s most breathtaking scenery as they take a trail run 20 km from Pietermaritzburg to Camperdown through three game reserves. Then theyn mountain bike 52 km from Camperdown through the beautiful Valley of a Thousand Hills to Inanda Dam, and end their race with either a paddle of 18 km (with two short portages) for the multisport event or a seven kilometre trail run for the MultiX event.

Athletes may enter as an individual or in a team of two, three or five people with various options. Trail runners and mountain bikers wanting to race these legs may enter the Challenge Trail Run (10 km or 20 km option) or the Challenge MTB (53 km) as standalone events. It’s a great challenge for friends, clubs, schools or corporates.

For more details e-mail at www.triplechallenge.co.za

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