Now that the national lockdown level has been downgraded to level 2 Western Cape Cycling is planning a Western Cape Track and a Mountain Bike Championship in October and November.
Corne Bence, president of Western Cape Cycling, said they have been given permission by the Ministry of Sport, Arts and Culture to start hosting events again, albeit with strict conditions. So now they are looking to start small, with practice sessions on the tracks at Killarney and the Bellville Velodrome.
On the mountain biking front, meetings are permitted with a capacity of 300 people and participants allowed to start in groups of 50.
Corne says the cyclists are hungry and eager to get back to competitive racing after a few months of training at home on the rollers or on the road and lately also online in e-racing. I do not think the riders will be as sharp as they would normally be for a championship meeting, explained Corne, but we have the advantage that we have experienced coaches of international standard who know how to get guys ready quickly.
Our coaching commission chairman Elrick Kulsen worked closely with the riders during the lockdown and I expect the standard to be better than expected because of the hard work Ricky and his team put in.
Western Cape Cycling made sure that all the Covid-19 compliance regulations are adhered to and Corne says the riders know that they need to wear masks, sanitise and get their temperature checked on arrival. There will be no socialising after the meeting. During races they do not have to wear the masks.
Corne said it was important that all the riders and officials are compliant so that cycling can continue to host events.
During lockdown the Swift e-format racing grew in popularity because it gave cyclists the opportunity to compete against their peers locally and even internationally. A rider from the Eden District, Charlissa Schultz, is the first junior SA Swift e-race champion and Corne congratulated her, saying that title is just reward for her hard work and dedication.
Corne said Kulsen and and O’Ryan Bruintjies, chairperson of the youth and development commission, regularly give riders the opportunity to ride on this platform and Cycling SA also assisted kids who do not have the means to afford the very expensive equipment and data needed for e-racing. He thanked those two and Cycling SA for their contribution in growing the sport.
Things are also happening on the BMX front, with chairman Rickus Muller doing exemplary work. The course in Hermanus is currently being upgraded thanks to a sponsorship from the National Lottery, while the one in Paarl is also being revamped to a national level. Next year the national championships will be hosted in Paarl.
Western Cape Cycling recently had their Annual General Meeting via the online platform Zoom and Corne was elected as president for the next four years. Other officials are: William de Bruin (Safety and Covid-19 compliance), Wendy Cole (secretary), Elrick Kulsen (Coaching Commission), O’Ryan Bruintjies (Youth and Development), Ian Goetham (Road Cycling), Nigel Isaacs (Track Cycling), Heinrich Greyffenberg (Treasurer), Ashley Parsons (Women’s Commission), Louisa Ruwiel (Mountain Biking), Rickus Muller (BMX).