Matthee takes lion’s share of gold at African Track Cycling Champs

2015-01-26 00:00

THE African Continental Track Cycling Championships concluded in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday with the hosts, South Africa, having dominated the ­podium. Maroesjka Matthee led the medal charge, with an outstanding showing throughout.

“It went very well. Coming into the champs, I felt very, very strong. On the first day, I felt I had good legs, so I was extremely positive for the whole champs,” Matthee said. “The omnium was a highlight. I won all of the events in the omnium, which is something I really wanted to do, and I am happy to have done that.”

For women, the omnium is made up of six events: the scratch race, the 3 000 metres individual pursuit, the elimination race, the 500 metres time trial, the flying lap and the 25 kilometre points race.

“Any champs like these boosts the track discipline,” Matthee said. “So I think, especially with other African countries getting on the podium, it lifts it a lot, and I think the interest will be greater after these champs.”

South African men’s star Nolan Hoffman teamed up with Morné van Niekerk to take victory in the Madison, raced over 40 kilometres. Although they were favoured to take the title, it was a tough outing, Hoffman admitted afterwards.

“It was a difficult race. We went into it a bit under-geared and we suffered a bit from that because we tried to take a lap on the field, but the gearing was too small and once we had the gap, we were floating out there. We couldn’t really make ground on the guys because the gear was too small.”

Track cycling in South Africa, Hoffman added, is going through a growth spurt.

“In places like Johannesburg and Cape Town, the numbers participating have grown dramatically and it makes me ­excited, as one of the senior athletes, to see that there is development and that people are doing it,” he said.

“I think track cycling is in a good space at the moment in terms of growth. For spectators, there is sprinting, endurance, tactics and it becomes a day event for the whole family. It ticks all the boxes.”

Hoffman commended Africa’s “Bike City”, Pietermaritzburg, for the job it has done in growing cycling through the hosting of major events in road and track cycling, BMX and mountain biking.

“All the countries have cycling hubs and cycling-friendly cities. I think what has helped cycling in Pietermaritzburg is that they have buy-in from the provincial government and it makes it so much easier for them. Maritzburg ticks all the boxes. It has shown it can host world-class events, like the MTB World Championships. It is incredible what Pietermaritzburg as a city has done for the sport. Huge potential still remains.

“The cherry on the cake would be if they added a velodrome in Alexandra Park. Look at the excellent BMX track, and the potential and the infrastructure for a velodrome is here.”



Morning and afternoon session — Saturday

Elite Women Sprint 200 m heats

1. Annerine Wenhold (RSA) 12,97

2. Myrtle Hagedorn (WP) 13,17

3. Odette van Deventer (RSA) 13,59

4. Lorna Carlstein (KZN) 14,03

5. Nour Dissem (TUN) 14,37

Madison Elite and Junior Men 40km

1. Morné van Niekerk, Nolan Hoffman (RSA) 23 points, 0 laps

2. Jac-Johan Steyn, Steven van Heerden (VWE-Europcar Cycling Academy) 14 points, 0 laps

3. Jean Spies, Joshua Buchel (Gauteng) 11 points, 2 laps

Elite Women Sprint Final Bronze Ride

Odette van Deventer (RSA) 14,07 def. Lorna Carlstein (KZN)

Odette van Deventer (RSA) 14,76 def. Lorna Carlstein (KZN)

Elite Women Sprint Final Gold and Silver Ride

Annerine Wenhold (RSA) 14,09 def. Myrtle Hagedorn (WP)

Annerine Wenhold (RSA) 14,43 def. Myrtle Hagedorn (WP)

Elite Men Keirin Final

1. Jean Smith (RSA) 11,28

2. Eugene Soule (WP)

3. Christopher Mlotshwa (KZN)

4. Matthew de Freitas (RSA)

5. Matt Roe (Gauteng)

Elite Women Omnium Points 10 km

1. Maroesjka Matthee (RSA) 21

2. Ebtissam Zayed Ahmed Mohamed (EGY) 17

3. Nour Dissem (TUN) seven

4. Elfriede Wolfaardt (WP) six

5. Danielle Norman (Gauteng) four

Junior Women Points 10 km

1. Jessica Gerber (RSA) 18

2. Shannique Loggenberg (RSA) 12

3. Kayla Edwards (RSA) 10

Elite Women Points 20 km

1. Maroeskja Matthee (RSA) 44

2. Debbie Loffell-Dawson (RSA) 29

3. Ilze Bole (RSA) 22

Junior Men Points 16 km

1. Waylin Young (RSA) 31

2. Louis Visser (WP) 27

3. Sheldon Lahner (RSA) 16

Elite Men Points 30 km

1. Nolan Hoffman (RSA) 50

2. Joshua Buchel (Gauteng) 26

3. Jac-Johan Steyn (VWE-Europcar Cycling Academy) 20

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