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Vol 13 No 5

July 2012


Contents

lET’s ENJoy FaBulous phil’s CoMMENTaRy whilE wE CaN Phil Liggett, MBE, has been a contributor to Cyclingnews Magazine for more than ten years, writing his entertaining and insightful column, Phil’s Brew, religiously and with great passion every month. Phil tackles every aspect of his life with the same dedication and passion, which is clearly illustrated by the fact that this year is his fortieth as commentator at the Tour de France. Phil is a couple of years shy of 70 and still does not show signs of slowing down. But he has let slip that 2013 might be a good year for him to wave goodbye to his cycling commentary duties. This year could be a momentous year for the popular and revered Voice of Cycling. Because, for the first time in history, the Tour de France may be won by a British rider. Bradley Wiggens will be starting as favourite. The last time there was so much excitement about a Briton was when Tom Simpson was regarded as a possible Tour winner in 1967. He tragically died in that Tour. The Olympic Games are in London this year and Phil will do commentary for Australian television. These factors, combined with his 40th “anniversary” at Le Tour, probably led him to remark recently that 2013 “might not be a bad year to bow out”. Phil has been one of the most influential commentators in international sport over the past five decades. His work has been one of the main reasons for the inroads English-speaking cyclists have made into an arena that was traditionally cradled by main-land Europe. Television networks can, of course, also thank their stars that they have had Phil around. They have made vast amounts of money as a result of Phil’s contribution to the increase in the number of cycling viewers worldwide. I have never really thought about what the Tour de France commentary would sound like if it did not come from Phil’s velvet voice. I don’t think I want to.

Wynand de Villiers

CoVER piC: Kenian born Chris Froome, the revelation of the 2012 Tour France. REgulaRs 4

phil’s Brew: Everyone is watching Bradley the Briton

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in the Bunch: Let bygones be bygones

Editor wynand de Villiers wynand@cyclingnews.co.za

Consulting editor Gerhard Burger

Contributors

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Nutrition: Eat wisely to ride well

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Nutrition: Pick n Pay

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pulse pages: The one-in-all health booster and performance enhancer

pictures

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Bike review: Touching perfection. Pinarello’s new Dogma XC

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Photosport International, Michelle Cound, Frank Bodenmueller, My Picture

product review: Pockets of pure genius: Safe and sealed – it’s in the bag

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Technical: Finding the right saddle is extremely important

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Technical: Be bright – get the right light

Phil Liggett, Wilhelm de Swardt, Teresa Harris, Chris de Beer, Rod Knight, Coetzee Gouws, Andrew Mclean

printer Colorpress pty (ltd) Ryan Lotter – 011 493 8622/3/4/5

Design FEaTuREs 8

SA women won’t play games at Olympics

Cinnamon graphix C.C. Chris Dawson – chris@cgraphix.co.za

published by asg Events

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Warwick’s Jock a joint venture

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John-Lee Augustyn recalls What it’s like to ride The Tour

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Reinardt rides with the main manne

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Lynette rediscovers the joys of cycling

suBsCRiBE

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Helivac making cycling events safer

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Bain’s Kloof trails – a beautiful skills test

If you’d like to join our ever-increasing subscriber base, there is no better time than now. Simply log onto www.asgevents.co.za and click on the subscribe button The magazine remains free of charge at major bike shops and races throughout the country, but because our print run is limited we inevitably get readers that miss out on some of the issues. If would like to ensure that you don’t miss an issue, a subscription charge of R70 for ten issues will secure a copy of Cyclingnews Magazine in your postbox every month.

RaCE pREViEws / REpoRTs 2

Bestmed Jock Cycle Classique: Lowveld mountains await best of the best

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Clover lowveld Tour: SA’s toughest is ‘hard but lekker’

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lumberjack 100 in Michigan: Hundred miles take more than your breath away

116B, Glen Avenue, Willow Glen, Pretoria. Tel no: 012 751 4130/31/32/33 Fax: 086 730 3099

Cyclingnews July 2012

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Race preview

Jock Bestmed ssique Cycle Cla

words: Wynand de Villiers

lowveld mountains await best of the best “Welcome to the Lowveld. We hope you enjoy your stay.”

DaTE 21 July 2012

VENuE Coronation Park, Barberton

sTaRTiNg TiMEs Stage 1: 06:30 Stage 2: 09:00 Stage 3: 12:30

sTagE DisTaNCEs Stage 1: Barberton to Nelspruit via Hilltop – 42km Stage 2: Nelspruit to Kaapmuiden via Boulders – 58.8km Stage 3: Kaapmuiden to Barberton – 54km

It’s with these words and a wry smile that cycling locals welcome hopeful Jock finishers to Barberton annually. The outstanding feature of the Jock still surprises novices every year - the mountains. Riders from Johannesburg, Pretoria and surrounds don’t train on climbs that feel like they never end - and that’s why most of the field suffer; really suffer, to make the 17:30 Jock cut-off in Barberton. Many finishers collapse as they cross the line and have to be helped to the medals table. But in their agony they’re all inspired by the fact that they have completed the Comrades of cycling. On 21 July 1500 brave souls will again take to the roads between Barberton, Nelspruit and Kaapmuiden for the 29th staging of the Bestmed Jock Cycle Classique. Among the starters will be many riders battling a personal setback or disability, and many more that would just like to show themselves that they can. Any rider who finishes will know that he or she can be counted as one of the

g the Jock!

Happiness is: conquerin

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Cyclingnews July 2012

toughest in the sport - and he, or she, will have serious bragging rights for the rest of their existence. Boulders and Hilltop have become part of South African cycling folklore. Boulders, on the second stage between Nelspruit and Kaapmuiden, is the main monster on the trip. It is 7km long with an average gradient of nine per cent. For about 3km it goes up to 14 per cent. The backmarkers always battle to the top, but the big reward is an alpine like decent all the way to the finish in Kaapmuiden. The parents’ committee of Bergvlam High School, who have been in charge of catering for the past three years, will again be on hand to spoil cyclists during the breakfast and lunch stops and they have promised to lay it on thick once again. Cyclists usually complain that they eat too much and battle to get up the climbs on the last stage! The three-stage, 154km Bestmed Jock Cycle Classique is the biggest winter road event in the country, and is growing at a rate of more than 50% in entry totals annually. It seems riders love the three-stage format. The locals treat them really well before and after the racing. The food and hospitality just couldn’t be better. The only change to the originally advertised race is that the second stage will commence at 9:00 for the first bunch, and not 8:30 as the entry form reads. Mpower FM is following the Jock this year and will provide entertainment at each venue. They will also do live crossings during the day to keep listeners updated. The Jock will be broadcast on SuperSport, so keep a look-out for programme guides. •CN


Race preview

Cyclingnews July 2012

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phil’s Brew with Phil Liggett

picture: Photosport International

Everyone is watching Bradley the Briton Never in the long history of the Tour de France has a UK rider started as the favourite to win the greatest race in the world. But Bradley Wiggins, whose Australian father Gary was a good six-day rider – that is why Junior was born in Belgium – has had such a perfect build-up to the Tour that he stands out among the entrants for the 2012 race. Wiggins has been brilliant on the track and won two gold medals in the pursuit races at the Olympic Games in Beijing four years ago. For the London Games, the track racing left the British team spoilt for choice, leaving Wiggins free to return to the road that has, since his fourth place in the 2009 Tour, been his first love. The Londoner has enjoyed his year as British road champion but did not defend his title in June, preferring to stay in Majorca to finish his altitude preparation for the Tour and Olympic road events. At 32, he is ready after a season in which he has won, in dominating fashion, the Paris-Nice, the Tour of Romandie and, for a second time, the Dauphine. In each event he also won the time-trial stage, which has been his specialty.

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This year, the Tour de France has over 100km of time trialling. With his mountainclimbing ability, Wiggins was poised to become the first UK winner of an event that started in 1903. During all those years 60 British riders have started the Tour. Only 31 finished and four of them wore the famous yellow jersey as brief leaders. They were Tom Simpson in 1962, Chris Boardman (1994/’97 and ‘98) Sean Yates in 1994 and Scotland’s David Millar in 2000. Only Simpson was seen as a potential winner and he tragically died climbing Mont Ventoux on stage 13 of the Tour in July 1967. Wiggins crashed out after the first week last year, going home with a broken collarbone. But his mindset is so strong now that, for the first time, he actually believes he can win the race. His closest rivals have also said so. His stature as the favourite has been boosted by the pelvic injury that Andy Schleck suffered in the Dauphine. Schleck finished second to the Tour’s defending champion, Cadel Evans, last year. In all fairness, Schleck would have been hard pushed to match Wiggins and Evans this

time because of the amount of time trialling. He was, nonetheless, bitterly disappointed when he was injured. Schleck’s brother Frank, who was third last year, is competing but does not want the role of team leader for Radio Shack. Frank prefers to ride under the radar and take his chances when they present themselves. The last-minute call-up of American Chris Horner to replace Andy as team leader was most welcome. This is the 40th Tour de France in which I have been involved. Where have the years gone? one might ask. Wiggins is not the only one who could make me happy. The UK may eclipse all expectations by also winning (again) the green points jersey, through Mark Cavendish. The sprinter from the Isle of Man sits on 20 stage wins and his immediate target will be that of the great French sprinter Andre Darrigade, who won 22 sprint stages. Darrigade, who made something of a tradition of winning the first stage of the Tour, once – in 1961 – spoiled what could have been a race lead from start to finish by his friend Jacques Anquetil, who later became the first rider to win the Tour five times. •CN


phil’s Brew

Chris Froome attacks to win the first mountain top stage in Le Tour.


in the bunch with Coetzee Gouws

picture: Photosport International

let bygones be bygones Truth be told, I’ve never really been a fan of Lance Armstrong. Primarily, I think, ‘cos he gave ‘Big Jaan’ such a hard time in his prime. Maybe also because he’s American, and I often get the feeling that they believe the world revolves around their continent. You know, World Series baseball and so on. But let’s not confuse being a fan with respecting his talent and what he has achieved, for that was immense and plausible. When the cancer came along, it made him a larger-than-life character. He inspired millions and suddenly he was not just an egotistical American, but a citizen of the world (which includes the bits outside the States). He had successfully managed to merge his “title” as cancer survivor with that of Tour de France champion, overcoming possibly two of the toughest physical tests known to man. I was among those who lapped up his autobiographies, living every extraordinary moment with him, page by page. The name Lance Armstrong, as opposed to Neil, became a brand of its own – one that stood for hope, belief, inspiration, humanity. He endeared himself to millions globally, with the possible exception of the French. They are a proud nation, especially where cycling, and in particular their Tour, is concerned, and many felt he was (perhaps unfairly) helping himself to huge portions of something that was traditionally theirs. Even worse, a national icon that personified traits like fairness and sportsmanship. As I’m writing this column, I read with interest that the first week of this year’s Tour showed the most abandonments since the ‘98 race when Richard Virenque’s Festina team got thrown off the event for their alleged link to what the authorities termed “systematic doping”. While all of this was going on, a recovering (in a non-substance abuse sense, of course) Armstrong was finding his feet in races like the Vuelta and World Championships, finishing fourth in both. Hello everyone, he had re-announced himself. My name is Lance. I’m a cyclist and cancer survivor and I have an obsession with winning. Hello Lance, the cycling fraternity welcomed him back at the time. The following year saw a fully recovered Armstrong at the Tour – for the record, a race he had been able to complete only once after a fistful of attempts. After the Festina Affair of the year before, it is safe to say he resurfaced at a time when most loyal supporters of the sport felt betrayed and looked on great performances like

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Cyclingnews July 2012

his with more than just a little suspicion. Vampire (an affectionate term for the governing body’s drug-testing squad) season in the peloton didn’t help either as riders, ranging between good and great ones, were being caught left, right and centre with their hands in the cookie jar. Outsiders realised the Festina boys had been made scapegoats for what was actually a much bigger problem. Doping, it seemed, was part and parcel of the sport at the time and offenders were being – excuse the pun – weeded out at the root. So it was into this unfortunate mess that an unsuspecting Armstrong stepped with his new Nike shoes. And while he proceeded to beat the socks off his competition, most of them were being sent home for doping. For many, including the Tour director at the time, Jean-Marie Leblanc, this defied logic. And 13 years on his performances still do. It might be because he was better than everyone else at beating the system. Or he simply may have been better than the rest. Whichever version you choose to believe, is up to you. Personally, I find solace in an old Flemish cycling saying that loosely translates to a belief that, one way or another, the various eras compete on level playing fields. Therefore, let bygones be bygones. •CN

Coetzee is a former journalist and full-time cycling fanatic whose PR company focuses on sports communications. Visit www.inthebunch.co.za or follow In_the_Bunch on Twitter.

“when the cancer came along, it made him a larger-than-life character. he inspired millions and suddenly he was not just an egotistical american, but a citizen of the world (which includes the bits outside the states).”


olympic preview

words: Coetzee Gouws • picture: Photosport International

sa women won’t play games at olympics With an unprecedented number of cyclists in the national Olympic squad, Team South Africa will be pinning its medal hopes in the women’s road event on lead rider Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio. Moolman-Pasio will be supported in the 140km London race on Sunday, July 29, by Momentum-Toyota team-mates Joanna van de Winkel and Robyn de Groot. “This is the first time we actually have a rider with an impressive array of UCI points and did not have to rely on the ‘easy’ points scored at the national and African championships,” says the team’s manager, Barry Austin. “So the intention has been to build a team capable of supporting her.” Cycling SA started the process three years ago, with the 2016 Games in Rio in mind, but the five-year European feeder programme with the Belgian Lotto Belisol team has already paid dividends. “The top five ranked nations will take four riders. Nations six to thirteen take three and the rest one each. We made 13th position by seven points after a tremendous team effort and sacrifice.” Only the Netherlands, United States, Germany, Italy and Britain will have more riders than South Africa in the 67-strong field.

Placing in the top ten in two World Cup races and taking third overall in the recent Tour de Free State put Moolman-Pasio firmly on the international radar, says Austin. “She’s the only South African woman to have scored UCI points in a bunch sprint in the last year, so, apart from being a good climber, she is also our fastest sprinter.” He says De Groot, who was the second South African overall in the Free State tour, has proved herself an extremely unselfish rider and a solid domestique. “She gave up individual success for the greater good of the country and assisted Ashleigh.” The stage race heralded De Groot’s return to top form after she had broken four ribs in a crash at the finish of this year’s Pick n Pay Cape Argus Cycle Tour. Austin also has praise for Van de Winkel as a support rider. “Joanna made the hardest break in the Luxembourg UCI tour and is excellent at managing bunch riding. She can easily place Ashleigh where she needs to be.” The Olympic course, which includes two laps of the three-kilometre Box Hill ascent at a five-percent gradient, has three significant climbs. “The pace will surely be forced on these to create a selection group and drop the sprinters who can’t climb. We will push for this too.”

South Africa has the most realistic chance of an Olympic medal ever with Burry Stander starting as one of the favourites.

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Cyclingnews July 2012

Although the omission of fellow Momentum-Toyota rider Cherise Stander has caused some controversy, Austin says he is satisfied with Sascoc and CSA’s choices. “We don’t have the luxury of, for instance, the Brits whose whole team have scored UCI points in numerous races and World Cup events.” During the Olympic qualification period, he says, Moolman-Pasio scored UCI points on 14 occasions, followed by Van de Winkel (twice), Stander (twice) and De Groot (once). “The rest in combination scored just over a third of Ashleigh’s points, showing a clear difference. We have only one consistent points scorer at this stage and we are aiming for a medal, not just a finish near the front.” By comparison, he points out, the British have Emma Pooley who scored in 27 events, Lizzie Armistead in 21, Nicole Cooke in seven and Lucy Martin in five. “For now we have only one rider who plays on this same field. Let’s hope in the future we can have a points table like Britain and then choose which winners make up the best combinations.” The SA trio were scheduled to warm up against the world’s best in the nine-day Giro D’Italia Femminile, also known as the Giro Donne, which ended on July 7. •CN

sio

Ashleigh Moolman-Pa


olympic preview

TEaM sa aT ThE 2012 olyMpiCs ROAD Women: Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, Joanna van de Winkel, Robyn de Groot Men: Daryl Impey TRACK Men: Bernard Esterhuizen MOUNTAIN BIKING Women: Candice Neethling Men: Burry Stander, Philip Buys BMX Men: Sifiso Nhlapo

Cyclingnews July 2012

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Feature

“a fine balance needs to be maintained between pushing fitness and strength and not overdoing it to the point where the joints get inflamed. learning to listen to my body has been the toughest lesson.�

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Cyclingnews July 2012

words: Coetzee Gouws


Feature

warwick’s Jock a joint venture Many riders will suffer from aching joints after finishing the BESTmed Jock Cycle Classique this month. But few would consider starting South Africa’s toughest one-day stage race feeling that way. For 35-year-old Warwick Gill, however, living with pain is a way of life. First diagnosed with juvenile chronic arthritis at the age of seven, he has spent the greater part of three decades conquering challenge after challenge. The list now also includes the 154km Mpumalanga race presented by ASG on July 21 and cycling up Mount Kilimanjaro in September. “Living with any condition for 28 years makes it part of who you are, and not something you’re affected by,” says Warwick. His auto-immune disease causes the body’s immune system to attack the synovial membrane around the joints, which results in swelling, pain and eventual joint damage. “In my case it has affected all my joints. It is currently under control, but I have limited mobility in most joints and it damaged the growth points resulting in stunted growth.” He also struggles with secondary effects such as osteoporosis and high blood pressure. “I’ve recently procured two new hips, as my old ones needed replacing. I’m monitoring when I might need to upgrade the knees as well – the main advantage being that my structure actually improves with age and a little maintenance.” Strangely enough, says Warwick, his condition does not affect his daily life too much. “I live in an unmodified house,

drive an automatic car and am completely independent. “Some things take me a little longer than most – getting dressed is an example – and I’ve had to devise some interesting methods for putting on socks and shoes, picking things up off the floor and various other everyday activities.” The Randpark Ridge, Johannesburg, resident has also had to modify his approach to cycling, which he has been doing for the past six years on a recumbent trike. “My recovery time is impacted most as it’s not just the muscles that need to recover, but the joints as well. “A fine balance needs to be maintained between pushing fitness and strength and not overdoing it to the point where the joints get inflamed. Learning to listen to my body has been the toughest lesson.” RECLYNING TRAINER For his training regime, Warwick combines time on a reclining stationary trainer with light resistance work and Pilates exercises. On weekends, he cycles on and off-road. “I do what my body allows in any given week, based on resting heart rate as well as how my joints feel. In a good week, I will complete 10 to 12 hours of training; in a bad one, as little as two or three.” When preparing for a long race such as the Jock, Warwick can train up to 60km per day. He has completed three Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge races and the Pick n Pay Cape Argus Cycle Tour numerous times.

Warwick Gill tackles the Pick n Pay Cape Argus Cycle Tour in his recumbent road trike.

Cyclingnews July 2012

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Feature

The modified off-road trike on which Warwick Gill will attempt to summit Mount Kilimanjaro in September.

“I’ve done the Argus every year since 2007. Love that race, even in the 2009 windy year. Okay, maybe I tolerated that one ...” Warwick, who works as a channel development manager at one of the country’s major banks, says every race is an individual time-trial for him and slipstreaming is virtually impossible. “The line required on corners is more like a car than a bike and I get a lot less lateral movement due to wind than the bikes do. As a result, I tend to stay upwind of the bikes and watch my mirrors carefully in corners. “With three 16-inch wheels, my rolling resistance is high – I need to start pedalling much earlier on a downhill or flat section than the others. The only other real issue is that I’m very close to the ground, so my forward visibility can be compromised.” TURNED BRAKES AROUND His trike has been slightly modified to adapt to his needs. “I turned the brakes around so that I can push rather than pull them, and shortened the cranks as the damage to my knees and ankles prevents longer ones.” Unfortunately, the downside is limited torque, making uphills a serious challenge. “Putting too much power through the legs also results in strain on my knees – and that can knock me out of a race very quickly.” So why would he even contemplate taking on a multistage race featuring monster climbs like the 5km Hilltop ascent between

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Cyclingnews July 2012

Barberton and Nelspruit and the 7km Boulders climb towards Kaapmuiden? “It was a mistake initially, but then I got excited by the prospect of the challenge,” laughs Warwick. “Knowing how I operate, I needed an interim goal between the Argus and my Kilimanjaro attempt to keep me training at the right pace. When I entered, I thought it took place over three days, which was entirely achievable.” On discovering the reality of a trio of stages on a single day, he upped his training accordingly. “The strength I have had to develop for prolonged climbing of steep ascents forms the base of what I need for Kilimanjaro. I do hope to make the Jock a regular event though; I get excited, with an appropriate dollop of fear, every time I see the profile. “But, after being told at age seven that I would never walk again, I have spent most of my life proving doctors wrong. I love seeing how far I can push myself. For me, this is a real challenge and that keeps me sane.” Some would however question Warwick’s sanity when it comes to summiting the highest mountain in Africa in aid of charity on a modified off-road trike. He will be joined in this adventure by a team of six family members and friends who are hiking up, and three porters who will carry the trike on the sections he has to walk.

“A gentleman named Ben Goosen has summited in a three-wheeled wheelchair, so I know it is possible. My goal is to get to the top under my own power.” To aid him on his quest, modifications to his trike include a small front chainring mated to a 14-speed internal gear hub, a 10cm travel front shock and serious tyres for maximum traction. “I must be able to climb at three kilometres per hour to acclimatise to the altitude and have the capability to change gears while stationary.” Five years ago, Warwick was invited to hike up by the Arthritis Foundation. Although a hip replacement forced him to withdraw, the seed had been planted. “With two replacement hips and constrained knees and ankles, it’s not advisable, or possible really, to hike it. It took me some time to find the right trike and wrap my head around changing my objective, but this is the year.” The nine-day expedition, two days longer than the standard tour, starts on September 24 and will see him summit by the light of the full moon on September 30. “It’s really a personal driver – it’s difficult to fully explain the sense of achievement I feel when I finish the longer races, but I expect this will be a little more intense.” And it is this powerful sense of understatement that will keep Warwick on course for greater things. •CN


Feature

words: Coetzee Gouws • picture: Photosport International

“i’ve taken part in European classics, including the giro d’italia, where the build-up is big and they have a huge following, but the Tour is on a different level.”

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Cyclingnews July 2012


Feature

John-Lee Augustyn recalls

what it’s like to ride The Tour Cycling is a job; something you do. So says John-Lee Augustyn, reflecting on a professional career that took him all the way to the Tour de France. “But when you get there (the Tour), you realise that it’s your dream and your whole passion.” Augustyn made his Tour debut for Team Barloworld in 2008 and promptly caught the attention when he reached the summit of the Col de la Bonette at the head of the field before overshooting a hairpin bend and plummeting down the mountainside in spectacular style. “That was a big shock to my system. I went over the mountain first, thinking I could actually win that stage,” he says, shaking his head at the memory. “But by then you’re tired, there’s the altitude and your heart is pumping fast. You have to try to concentrate and not crash. And then that happened.” In a show of extreme fortitude, the climbing specialist literally crawled back up the mountain to finish stage 16 and then, a few days later, the Tour. “You have to have the mental strength to come back and move on. You have to make the decision not to quit,” he explains. The psychological aspect is the toughest part of the world’s most famous race, he says. And the pressure starts mounting months before the race. Once the pro teams receive their invitations the stress of rider selection hits. “Especially in the big teams, with around 30 riders, it must be hard to choose just nine because everyone has actually qualified to ride the Tour.” It’s a huge relief to be chosen because it shows the team has faith in your ability. “And you get all the nice limited-edition stuff,” the 25-year-old Augustyn says with a grin.

After his selection was announced, the feedback from the fans was incredible. “That’s when you realise how many people follow your progress. It’s a real eye-opener.” As a wide-eyed young rider, Augustyn soon realised how invaluable the support of older, more experienced team-mates was. “They help you with your self-confidence; they tell you that you can do it.” The coach also has a centre-stage job. “He helps you stay focused on your training in the lead-up to the event because one gets very excited. So many questions go through your mind. Am I good enough? Am I fit enough? Did I train enough?” A rider’s real worries should be about getting ill or being injured in the final days before the start of the three-week event, he says. Then the big day dawns and the participants find themselves standing in front of a massive crowd at the official team presentation. “That’s when you realise you’ve actually made it to the Tour de France. That’s every cyclist’s dream. “I’ve taken part in European classics, including the Giro d’Italia, where the build-up is big and they have a huge following, but the Tour is on a different level.” Words cannot describe the emotion. “When they call out your name and say ‘South Africa’, it is something no one can ever take away.” And then the world’s greatest cycle race begins. “On a typical day, we get up at around seven o’clock – not South African early, but early enough. “After a good breakfast, we travel by bus to the start. Then we sign on for the day’s ride, start the stage, suffer and get back on the bus. “We have a good recovery shake, and a shower and massage back at the hotel. Once everyone’s done, we go downstairs for dinner. “Dinner is usually at eight; sometimes later,

depending on how far we had to travel. Then you have to try to get some sleep, but the adrenalin is often still pumping.” Three weeks is a long time to stay focused, says Augustyn. “The first week is very stressful; the bunch is tense before it eventually settles down.” In the second week the mental challenge begins. “There are some days when you think, ‘Gee, this is awesome’. And then there are days when you just want to stop and say, ‘I can’t do this anymore’.” If you can get through that, it’s plain sailing thereafter. “In the last week, the physical challenge sets in. You just have to pray that your legs hold out to the end.” Then the weeks of mental and physical agony turn to pure elation when riders finally hit the home stretch along the Champs Élysées in Paris. “You see all the people and the South African flag – it’s very emotional.” Although his pro career is on hold as he recovers from the effects of radical hip surgery, Augustyn is determined to live out his passion. “That’s how life is: you have to move on. Luckily, for now, I can work in the sport I love.” The former SA Under-23 road champion is looking forward to a new chapter in his life, which includes setting up a boutique cycling shop with his brother Wesley in his hometown of Port Elizabeth. He has also been snapped up by the university to mentor the Mecer-NMMU cycling team. Ultimately, he says, he plans to use the experience he gained while racing for professional outfits such as Britain’s Team Sky and Italy’s Utensilnord-Named to help others towards their goals. “Anyone who’s a keen cyclist, pro or not, I’m there to help.” Augustyn can be reached at johnleeaugustyn@yahoo.co.uk. •CN

Proud vehicle sponsor of the Bestmed Jock Cycle Classique

Cnr Crown & General Street, Barberton, 1300 • Tel: (013) 712 4214 • Visit www.nttgroup.co.za

Cyclingnews July 2012

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Nutrition

words: Coetzee Gouws

Eat wisely to ride well Every cyclist knows proper nutrition goes hand in hand with training. The question is how and what one should eat to compete like a professional. Cyclingnews approached former Tour de France rider John-Lee Augustyn for advice. Augustyn, who is recovering in South Africa from a hip injury, says there are general guidelines that one can follow. These should be tailored to individual needs, and issues such as food allergies should be taken into account. “Nutrition is rather personal. Basic programmes are available, but one has to check to see what works for you. That’s how all the pros start.” Augustyn says he maintains nearly the same eating habits for one-day races and three-week tours, even though the physical preparation is completely different. The difference, he adds, lies in training versus racing nutrition. “During training, you don’t want to gain too much weight because your aim is to get into racing shape. On the other hand, you also don’t want to lose muscle mass.” The former climbing specialist says maintaining a protein-based diet with some carbohydrates and vegetables is important during this phase. “One must not have too many carbs, but if you’ve had a hard training day, you obviously need them.” For racing nutrition, the emphasis switches to more simple carbohydrates, which help the body recover and rebuild for the next day. Augustyn, who raced for Team Sky and Utensilnord-Named after making his Tour debut for Barloworld in 2008, says an average racing day begins with a good breakfast three hours before the start. “This is typically porridge, such as oats mixed with raisins or nuts. You can also add an omelette on the side for the protein.” An hour before, he recommends, one should have a small snack, such as a protein bar or sandwich, and frequent sips of water or carb-based drinks. “This makes protein available straight away for the muscles. “On the bike, we’ll usually have little bread rolls with jam and cheese, and we’re always sipping on water and a mix. This provides the fuel you need and it ensures your body does not go to your muscles to break down proteins from there.” The foods that a rider eats on the bike must have a high glycaemic index so that the energy is instantly available. Immediately after the day’s riding one should have a good protein shake for recovery. “We sometimes also have a rice

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Cyclingnews July 2012

or potato dish with some high-end carbs, followed by a massage and some more snacks.” Dinner usually comprises pasta, rice or potatoes with some protein, such as grilled chicken, and vegetables. “When we eat, we try to get the carbs in first, then the protein, followed by the veggies if we have space. The veggies are important for vitamins and minerals.” Augustyn feels the protein-versuscarbohydrate debate requires a more moderate approach. “Carbs have always been advocated but protein is also important for muscle building and lean tissue. So you need both. And your body also needs good fats, such as nuts, olive oil and avocado. “If you have a healthy balanced meal, including all those elements, you’ll have a good outcome and you won’t need to spend as much on supplements.” One of the golden rules is to use fresh, good ingredients, he says. “Don’t eat processed food, and stay away from fizzy, sugary drinks. They’re bad for your stomach lining and can make you feel bloated.” The 25-year-old Augustyn says a beer as a recovery drink is perfectly permissible. “Beer is very simple carbs. If you’re used to having a beer, make sure you stick to just one because alcohol dehydrates you.” Dehydration harms the muscles and internal organs, he cautions. “The moment you start getting thirsty, you’re already dehydrating.” Although the rule of thumb is two litres of water per day, Augustyn says most riders do not drink enough fluid. They should be sipping constantly – before, during and after the ride. “Weigh yourself before and after the ride to see how much you’ve lost, and aim to get that back. If you know you sweat a lot, you have to drink more than the average guy.” A good balanced mix in your bottle, with a little carbs and some electrolytes, is essential, he says. “You can also add a pinch of salt.” A staunch advocate of balance in all aspects of training and nutrition, Augustyn is looking forward to sharing the benefit of his extensive pro riding experience with local riders. “It’s an exciting new chapter,” he says. He is available on johnleeaugustyn@yahoo.co.uk for training and nutritional advice. •CN


Nutrition

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Cyclingnews July 2012

words: Teresa Harris


Nutrition

Cyclingnews July 2012

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pulse pages

words: Wynand de Villiers • picture: Photosport International

The one-in-all health booster and performance enhancer

Cadel Evans on the trainer prior to the Tour de France's opening prologue.

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Cyclingnews July 2012


pulse pages

Because these pages are always about heart rate and heart-rate training, we thought we’d take it back to basics for those who have been hibernating and need some motivation to start up again after winter.

prevent high blood pressure? Regular physical activity can help you prevent or manage a wide range of health problems and concerns. These include stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, depression, certain types of cancer, and arthritis.

And there’s much to look forward to. From boosting your mood to improving the quality of your sleep, raising your heart rate through exercise improves your health on all fronts. Exercise will boost your health, your mental fitness and your performance, whether at work or at play. Here are some of the benefits of getting up and working out.

Exercise improves mood Need an emotional lift? Or need to blow off some steam after a stressful day? A workout at the gym or a brisk 30-minute walk can help. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed.

Exercise controls weight Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. When you engage in physical activity, you burn energy. The more intense your activity, the more energy you will burn. Exercise combats disease Worried about heart disease? Hoping to

Exercise boosts energy Exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently so you feel that you have far more energy during the day. Exercise promotes better sleep Struggling to fall asleep? Or to stay asleep? Regular physical activity can help you fall

asleep faster and deepen your sleep. Just don’t exercise too close to bedtime, or you may be too energised to fall asleep. Exercise can be fun Exercise can be a fun way to spend your “down time”. It gives you a chance to unwind, enjoy the outdoors or simply engage in activities that make you happy. So, take a dance class, hit the hiking trails or join a tennis group. Find a physical activity you enjoy, and just do it. The bottom line? Exercise is a great way to feel better, gain health benefits and have fun. As a general goal, aim for at least 30 minutes every day. If you want to lose weight or meet specific fitness goals, you may need to exercise more. Remember to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise programme, especially if you have any health concerns. Ready to get off that couch now? •CN Article courtesy of Pick n Pay Health


Feature

words: Coetzee Gouws

Reinardt rides with the main manne Team MTN-Qhubeka’s sprint sensation Reinardt Janse van Rensburg has the international cycling world in a spin after a dozen UCI-rated victories in Europe this season. However, the young rider remains perfectly pragmatic about his recent triumphs. “My job is to win races,” he says. “I normally share this responsibility with Arran Brown and it’s a role I have become accustomed to over the past two years.” In March, Janse van Rensburg began his domestic racing calendar by claiming the national time-trial jersey and silver in the road race. He followed it up with his maiden victory in South Africa’s biggest road race, the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour. Later that month, the 23-year-old took four stage victories and the overall win in the Tour du Maroc, proving he was in dangerous form ahead of the team’s European tour. Once on the continent, Janse van Rensburg notched up overall victories in races such as the Tour de Bretagne, Ronde van Overijssel and Circuit de Wallonie. He wrapped up the first half of the year with his biggest win to date, the 1.1-rated Ronde van Zeeland Seaports. “It’s the biggest race I have done this year in terms of UCI ranking,” says Janse van Rensburg. “Teams like Rabobank, Vacansoleil, Farnese Vini and a host of other

ProConti teams all participated.” The Pretoria-based rider, who started his career with Toyota Supercycling in 2008, says the victory is particularly significant because it shows he is capable of winning bigger races, not just “amateur” events. “It really meant a lot to beat classy riders such as Lars Boom, Mark Renshaw and Kenny van Hummel.” He enjoys the advantage of being not only a sprinter but that has the ability to also time-trial and power up short, steep climbs. “I use these strengths to be especially competitive on the harder uphill finishes.” Janse van Rensburg’s successes have resulted in him being labelled by some as “the new Robbie Hunter”, but he is quick to avoid comparisons. “Robbie has been a pro for 14 years. That’s quite an achievement in itself. I always looked up to him for inspiration, but I rather see myself as someone new on the circuit with my own ambitions.” First among these is his childhood dream of taking part in the world’s biggest sporting event, the Olympic Games. “I was rather disappointed when I was not selected this year, as I felt I deserved a chance to go. “But Daryl Impey also earned it, so I’m sure it was a tough decision for the selectors. I now have to make sure I get to do it in 2016.”

His next step, he says, is to learn as much as he can in the big races to prove himself in top-flight competition, as Impey has done. He is also an integral part of MTNQhubeka’s recently announced long-term plan to gain Tour de France selection. “I think it’s achievable, but it will take some time to get there. It’s about being patient, consistently improving as a team and proving ourselves at the highest level.” MTN-Qhubeka returns to Europe alongside fellow South African team Bonitas for the 10-stage Tour of Portugal in August. “It is regarded as one of the biggest races outside the World Tour. And those who have ridden it tell me it’s the hardest tour they’ve done.” The stage race will be followed by a few second-tier events in Belgium before Janse van Rensburg’s squad finish their season at the team time-trial world championships in the Netherlands on September 16. •CN

Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (sixth from the left) with the full MTN-Qhubeka squad.

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Cyclingnews July 2012


Feature

“Robbie has been a pro for 14 years. That’s quite an achievement in itself. i always looked up to him for inspiration, but i rather see myself as someone new on the circuit with my own ambitions.”

Cyclingnews July 2012

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Bike review

words: Wynand de Villiers

• •

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Cyclingnews July 2012


Bike review

Pinarello’s new Dogma XC

Touching perfection After weeks of speculation, Pinarello have officially launched their long-awaited entry into the mountain-bike 29er market. With their history of advanced and gamechanging designs for road racing, the company began their off-road cycling programme with the same philosophy of continuous innovation that had made Pinarello one of the most important names in road cycling. The leaders at Pinarello again applied their knowledge and their ability to keep coming up with performance and speed-enhancing products. The result is that, in contrast to the widely held belief that nothing new could be done to a hard-tail MTB frame, the new DOGMA XC 9.9 is a striking example of innovation. It offers an array of advanced changes, most notably its rear triangle with ONDA XC asymmetric twin arms. The revolutionary system separates the seat stays vertically as well as laterally, dissipating vibration in a more uniform way across a larger surface area and giving the frame comfort unrivalled in hard-tail mountain bikes without losing responsiveness. To increase stability and comfort, the engineers at the Pinarello Lab looked at traditional hard-tail frame designs and set about improving on them. Traditional frames have the seat stays connected to the seat tube as well as the top tube at the same point, allowing for vibrations and impact to travel from the rear wheel directly to the top tube. Pinarello divided the frame into two separate triangles by moving the seat stays slightly higher than the top tube, thereby eliminating the possibility of shock transfer from the rear triangle to the top tube. This gives the frame more stability. The rear triangle was revisited to improve not only comfort and stability but also braking. Pinarello broke with the traditional rear-brake placement and moved the mount to the chain stay. Chain stays are more robust tubes that keep the frame more reactive. Moving the brake to this tube makes for a more efficient and stronger overall construction. Putting a brake on an asymmetrical rear triangle provides the cyclist with more symmetrical braking. The engineers also studied previously overlooked aspects of mountain-bike frames, such as the seatpost clamp. Now the seat clamp has a revolutionary design, with a new 4-bolt construction mounted directly to the seat stays. Until now mountain-bike manufacturers have had to raise the down tubes to avoid impact with the forks. This compromised efficient geometry. To improve performance, the geometry must take pri-

ority over other variables. Pinarello developed a new design, giving the down tube an angle that offers better handling, stability and responsiveness. Tackling the issue of fork impact, Pinarello developed ForkStopper technology that allows for the use of a more correct geometry that also protects the frame and components in the event of a fall or crash. The DOGMA XC 9.9 also offers better cable management and transmission efficiency. Internal cable routing retains a clean line but also brings about a longer lasting transmission by keeping mud, water and grime away from the cables. An integrated front derailleur mount has been strategically placed on the asymmetric seat tube. Ultimate shifting performance on the front derailleur can be obtained only by providing the correct angles for all components that an owner may choose to mount. With this in mind, Pinarello developed a system that offers two routing options on the same frame – one specifically designed for SRAM, and the other for Shimano. Pinarello spare no expense in acquiring the best materials to construct their famous road frames and continue in this fashion for the new mountain-bike range. The DOGMA XC 9.9 is constructed by using an exclusive carbon, 60HM1K by Torayca with the most advanced alloy technology. The extraordinary Torayca Nanoalloy™ technology consists of nano particles embedded in the carbon fibre mesh that explode upon impact, preventing the fibre from breaking. The new 60HM1K carbon with Nanoalloy™ technology will add 23 per cent to that advantage, making a material that is 59% more resistant than traditional fibres. By using a highly resistant and reliable fibre such as Torayca 60HM1K Nanoalloy™, Pinarello can employ less material compared to traditional fibres. Therefore, the weight decreases, even though stability and safety are improved. The new Dogma XC will be on display for the first time to the public at the Granfondo LaPina in Treviso, Italy, on July 15. Cyclists can enjoy first-hand experience of the Dogma XC at the demo events of Eurobike in Germany, the Expo Bici in Padova and the EICA trade show in Verona, both in Italy. South Africans will have to wait until September for the first models to land here. For more information contact ASG Sport Solutions on 012 751 4130 or visit www.asgsport.co.za •CN

Cyclingnews July 2012

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product review

words: Coetzee Gouws

Safe and sealed – it’s in the bag

pockets of pure genius SIMPLICITY is the purest form of genius, Albert Einstein once said. And nothing could be simpler than a proudly South African water-resistant pouch that is taking the cycling world by storm. “Some people may look at it and say it’s just a little bag,” says pOcpac engineer and manager Andrew Georgeou. “But it’s designed to do exactly what a cyclist needs.” Made from the same recycled PVC as popular hydration bladders, the various pOcpac models, with a zip locking mechanism, carry everything from cellphones to spares and personal items. “What we saw was that everyone, me included, was using disposable zip-locked sandwich bags to keep their items in when they went cycling.” After finding that the heavier items would eventually tear through the bags, Georgeou and his team of engineers and cycling enthusiasts decided there had to be a better way. “That’s how we came up with the pOcpac idea,” he says. The challenge was to create something that was durable as well as lightweight. “Nothing

had really been done for cycling, and what was out there was over-engineered. “Personally, I never liked the idea of a saddlebag. I couldn’t understand the concept of spending so much money on the lightest possible equipment and then lumping all these spares on to the bike.” With the rise of the popularity of mountain biking, water resistance during river crossings had also become a factor. Georgeou says they found that the waterproof items on the market were bulky, made of harder plastics and more expensive. “Previously, people never thought there’d be a requirement for a completely waterproof bag for your tools, spares or phone. You’d never be underwater on a bicycle!” Sponsored riders put their products to the test during last year’s bridge Cape Pioneer Trek and this year’s Absa Cape Epic and sani2c, presented by BoE Private Clients. On the Cape Epic, for example, pOcpac issued Team Tread with pouches for cellphones as well as spare parts to put these products to the test under the harshest possible conditions.


product review

“previously, people never thought there’d be a requirement for a completely waterproof bag for your tools, spares or phone. you’d never be underwater on a bicycle!”

Both products got the thumbs up after withstanding multiple river crossings, eight hours of torrential rain on stage five, several falls in the dry and wet and assisting with four quick-fire tyre changes. “Next year we may go back and shake the sani2c floating bridge as they’re crossing it as a marketing exercise,” Georgeou says, laughing. The first prototype appeared in the field in May last year. After a few kinks were ironed out, the product was officially launched at the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge expo in November. Georgeou says the most popular of the three pOcpac sizes is the Mobi, which holds most smartphones. “It is touchscreen-friendly, so you can navigate, make and take calls without removing your phone from the bag.” The larger Pro and MTB bags are designed for road and mountain bike use respectively and fit into all standard tops that female cyclists wear. “The bags can carry a spare tube, tyre

date: 29 and 30 September 2012 racing format • Rhodes opener: Night-ride on the Friday, starting at 18:30. It is a 15km festival ride around the village and a fun ride only. It won’t count towards anyone’s overall time in the Saturday’s “Grandmother” event. • The Grandmother: It starts at 06:00 on the Saturday and consists of 85 km of extreme alpine ascents and thrilling downhill racing.

entry fee: R2 500 (entries limited to 200 riders)

levers, CO2 canister and actuators, with a separate compartment for personal items. You have everything in one place in the small of your back. It only weighs a few hundred grams when full, so you hardly feel it.” The bags are already available in the Eastern and Western Cape and Georgeou says pOcpac should be distributed nationwide by the end of the year. “Our newest ranges, made from more robust material, will be launched shortly on our new local website (www.thepocpac.co.za).” The product is sold online in 72 countries and has retail distributors in the United Kingdom. “We’ve also had wholesale and distribution enquiries from the US and, strangely enough, Brazil.” Because of the ever-changing technological requirements, the locally inspired product is manufactured overseas. And cyclists can confidently say with this locally inspired product their storage problems are in the bag. •CN

Included In your entry • • • • • • • •

Customised special edition Rhodes Xtreme Rudy Project helmet Rhodes Xtreme fleece jacket Rhodes Xtreme cycling shirt Bike light and saddle bag Draw-string bag stocked with ample energy aides to get your through the journey Well stocked refreshment points with eats and drinks. Famous Rhodes hospitality including healthy meals, clean spring water and free beer after each event Membership of the Rhodes MTB Club for 12 months, enabling you to ride the trails and routes described on www.wetu.co.za • World-class disaster management support, including a helicopter route escort. • The satisfaction of testing your body against the elements like in no other mountain-bike event.


Feature

words: Wilhelm de Swardt

lynette rediscovers the joys of cycling Lynette Burger has a special reason for enjoying every moment when she gets on her bike to go riding these days. The CSA Cyclelab-Toyota rider is serving as mentor for promising young female cyclists and she simply loves of it. “I am really glad to have this opportunity. It has given me a new perspective on cycling,” she says. “Racing as a fulltime professional is a serious matter. Everything is about winning and keeping your sponsors happy. One tends to forget why you actually took up cycling, which is to ride for enjoyment. “As manager of the SA Under-23 squad I have rediscovered how to have fun on my bike. “Ironically I am getting more podium finishes now than I did as a serious professional,” Burger said after taking third place in the Argus Cycle Tour.

Lynette Burger in action in the Veteran's Tour.

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Cyclingnews July 2012

A former SA champion, Burger is serious about the new chapter in her cycling career. “When I was a youngster there were almost no structures in place to help me. “A cycling career was basically a case of trial and error. One just hoped some professional team would take notice of your performances and offer you a contract,” she recalled. “A lot of talented girls dropped out; something we can’t afford in South Africa. Therefore my biggest challenge is to keep the young cyclists motivated and help them avoid the mistakes I made when I began cycling. “For me it is also about the bigger picture. I want to help riders qualify for the Olympic Games and not just for the world championships. “This means our young riders must get more international exposure. Unfortunately funding will always be a major obstacle.

“That is why I began trying to find sponsors myself. I want to take a group of riders to Europe each year. It is the only way they will improve.” In local events, Burger now rides with the youngsters. “I found it to be more hands on. One cannot really help riders to improve their tactics when you are in a team car.” One of her protégés is Heidi Dalton, the SA junior road and time-trial champion. “She is the next real deal in SA women’s cycling. That is why it is so important to ensure she gets the proper guidance. “She can be a brilliant tour rider because she can climb and she is also good in time trialling. She just has to work on her sprinting. “If all goes well, Heidi can represent South Africa at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, but for now I just want to make sure she will be at her best at the world junior championships.” •CN


A TRUE MOUNTAIN-BIKERS COURSE IN SUBURBIA DATE: September 8, 2012 TIME: 8:00 START AND FINISH: Silverstar Casino ON-LINE ENTRIES: www.asgevents.co.za CLOSING DATE: 4 September 2012 ENTRY FEES: 40km (R140), 20km (R100) PRIZE MONEY: R5 000

The 2012 version of the big Silverstar Mountain Bike Classic will be the fifth staging of the popular event. Through working with local Krugersdorp land owners and courtesy of a partnership with Mogale City, the event presents an array of terrain and riding options and attracts in excess of 1000 riders annually. 40km ROUTE There will be NO tar road crossings and the event has the use of the entire property that is owned by the Laurentia Trust on the Northern side of the R28, all the way down the mountain to Hendrik Potgieter Road. A big thank you to the trust and to King’s Kloof Mountain Bike Trail for giving us passage through their impressive and vast property. 20km ROUTE The 20km route is a lot less technical with very little climbing involved. It stays at the bottom of the Hillsnacks Mountain through the Heuningklip Plots before turning at Laurentia farm where it joins up with the 40km ride.


Feature

helivac making cycling events safer Helivac’s history of success and influence in saving lives has led to top cycling organisers ASG Events to team up with the emergency medical evacuation service. ASG Events own and manage Cyclingnews Magazine and they organise a range of established cycling events countrywide. ASG Events and Cyclingnews have seen the importance of helping racers as fast as possible when they crash. Helivac is renowned for its trusted medical service and ability to assist in the shortest possible time. In the instance of an life threatening accident, the difference between life and death can be mere seconds, according to JP van Tonder, CEO of Helivac. Helivac’s main goal is to provide accident victims with quality round-the-clock medical service. In the event of a crash at one of these

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Cyclingnews July 2012

cycling races, Helivac’s service of providing emergency staff and doctors with advanced medical equipment to the scene of an emergency via a helicopter could lead to lives being saved or injuries being treated before it’s too late. Event organiser Wynand de Villiers said Helivac’s service makes him feel at ease because he knows victims are in good hands in the instance of a severe crash. “The response time of the helicopter distinguishes us from other races, because when a life-threatening situation arises, we know an injured person can get the right care quickly,” he said. “In addition, MMC Event Medical Specialists, Helivac’s partner at the races, are the best medical assistance company in the country. We are fortunate to have such partners.” Helivac enables doctors and emergency personnel to respond to victims within the

“golden hour”. The “golden hour” is the first 60 minutes after an emergency, and it is widely believed that medical treatment within that first hour will lead to greater chances of survival. Helivac recruits and employs only the highest qualified and most advanced personnel that meet specific in-house and aero-medical specialist criteria. Helivac’s airborne teams consist of highly experienced and qualified pilots, trauma doctors and advanced paramedics. Additional emergency personnel include on-call neo-natal nurses and the latest and most advance medical equipment. Helivac also employs dedicated flight desk personnel, enabling rapid, efficient and accurate dispatches. With their affordable membership fees, any South African can afford to subscribe to this service at R99 per month, or R149 per month for a family membership. •CN


Race preview

Clover our lowveld T

words: Coetzee Gouws

sa’s toughest is ‘hard but lekker’ DaTE 8 August 2012 to 12 August 2012

VENuE Africa Silks, Graskop, Mpumalanga

sTaRTiNg TiMEs 09:00

sTagE DisTaNCEs 4 Days, 5 Stages

ENTRy FEE R1 200

oNliNE ENTRiEs www.cyclelab.com Closing date: 1 August 2012

MoRE iNFoRMaTioN E-mail Hendrik on hpwagener@vodamail.co.za or call 082 741 1514.

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Cyclingnews July 2012

“Hard, but lekker!” That is how organiser Hendrik Wagener sums up the third Clover Lowveld Cycle Tour, which takes place in the mountains of Mpumalanga next month. South Africa’s largest and toughest road tour is also one of the most scenic, with a route that includes God’s Window, Long Tom Pass and the picturesque town of Sabie. The five-day elite and Under-23 event rolls out of Graskop on August 8. Participants in the other categories start their four-day race the following day. For this year, the organisers have also introduced a once-off 27km individual time trial. Wagener says this is the exact time-trial distance for the International Cycling Union’s World Cycling Tour final, formerly the masters road world championships, taking place in Pietermaritzburg two weeks later. “Therefore the Clover tour will be the ideal place for veterans to wrap up their preparations.” Discussing the main event, he says what started as a four-day race in 2010 has developed into a five-day tour for elite cyclists, at the request of the pro teams. “As one of the few road tours in South Africa, this is a very important race because it’s closer to European standards in terms of distance and difficulty.” Facing an average of around 155 km per stage in mountainous terrain, the pros are in for four to five challenging hours in the saddle every day. “It keeps them busy,”

Wagener says with a chuckle. Top teams, such as MTN-Qhubeka, Bonitas, Tasol and Westvaal have already indicated they will participate. But Wagener says the tour is a great leveller and has thrown up some interesting surprises. A mountain biker, former national marathon champion Kevin Evans, took overall honours for MTN-Energade in the inaugural event. And young Toyota CSA Academy rider Louis Meintjies raced to a surprise victory last year. Wagener says the 550km route will be better suited to the climbers. “Because of the elevation, we have several king-of-themountains hotspots on every stage but there will also be something for the sprinters.” Stage four, in particular, will challenge the legs. It comprises a morning session of 126 km, followed by what he calls “the best climb in South Africa” – a gruelling 7.1km ascent up Kowyn’s Pass in the afternoon. Referring to prize money for the elite and Under-23 categories, Wagener says there will be rewards for the Continental teams as well as for the top five smaller clubs. “Our aim is to make the tour accessible for everyone, so we have varying shorter distances for all the other racing categories in the four-day event. “There’s something for the whole family, including a 50-plus and Under-16 category. There are no cut-off times; you simply have to complete every stage in your own time to continue.” Late entries will also be accepted at the start venue the day before the race. •CN


MTB Trail review

words: Wynand de Villiers

Bain’s Kloof trails – a beautiful skills test The magnificent scenery is free but you have to bring your own advanced technical skills and first-class fitness to enjoy the toughest of the Bain’s Kloof mountain-bike trails.

Pieter, who used to own a pizza restaurant, has always been passionate about cycling and is also the co-owner of Adventure Cycles in Wellington. He designs routes for various events, including stages of the Absa Cape Epic and the upcoming KIA Val de Vie Mountain-bike Challenge. The Bain’s Kloof routes are mainly single track and wind through orchards, vineyards and pristine fynbos. They take you up high on to Groenberg, before a steep, technical

section down to the Kromme River. There riders can choose the challenging, very steep finish towards the river or an almost equally challenging chicken run. From there they progress along the banks of the tranquil stream through a natural forest. The second part of the route takes one towards Bain’s Kloof Pass, up a thightesting single-track climb and finally back towards Welvanpas on single track carved into the steep slopes of the Bain’s Kloof foothills. •CN

WHITE ROUTE (29 km)

YELLOW ROUTE (17 km)

BLUE ROUTE (15 km)

Approximate time: Two hours and 30 minutes to 3 hours 30 minutes Skill and fitness: Advanced technical skills and high fitness levels required. Terrain: • Steep single-track descents • Steep climbs • Fast, flowing single track • Forest, fynbos • Free-fall river crossings • Orchards Highest point on the route: Various peaks, with the highest 410m at approximately 24.5 km. Statistics: Total distance 29.5 km Single track 22.2 km (75%) Total climb 1 250 m

Approximate time: One hour 45 minutes to 2 hours 30 Skill and fitness: Good technical skills and high fitness levels required. Terrain: • Rocky jeep track • River crossings • Logging roads • Flowing single track Highest point on the route: Elevation 660 m at approximately 8 km. Statistics: Total distance 17.5 km Total climb 650 m

Approximate time: One hour 15 minutes to 2 hours Skill and fitness: Moderate Terrain: • Jeep track • Single track • Rocky river crossings Highest point on the route: Elevation 360 m at approximately 7 km. Statistics: Total distance 14.5km

Named after the beautiful Bain’s Kloof Pass in the Western Cape, the trails offer three routes that start and end at the farm Welvanpas outside Wellington. Boasting a picturesque background of breathtaking mountains, the trails were designed and built by Pieter van Wyk.

RouTE opTioNs

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Cyclingnews July 2012

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Race review

“My race plan was to look after body and bike on the first two laps and find out what i could do on the final lap, but at that stage i didn’t feel as if i would even see the last lap.”

Ben-Melt Swanepoel (left) on his way to victory in the 2006 Crater Cruise against an impressive field.

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Cyclingnews July 2012

words: Ben-Melt Swanepoel • picture: Wayne Hayward


Race review

Lumberjack 100 in Michigan

hundred miles take more than your breath away A few weeks ago my long-time personal sponsor, Squirt Lube, presented me with an opportunity too good to pass up. I woke up to an intriguing e-mail from the owner, Dewet Marais, who asked how quickly I could upgrade to a race distance of 100 miles (160 km) and obtain an American visa. His proposal was that Squirt would sponsor me to compete in the United States, riding in some National Ultra-Endurance (NUE) 100-mile events, as well as the Breck Epic Stage race in August. After some consultation with my SA sponsors it was clear that this would be a unique opportunity. They supported my decision to go and spend the SA winter racing in the US. The Lumberjack 100 in Michigan would be my first 100-mile race in the States. I went for my US visa interview on the Monday, collected the document en route to the airport on the Tuesday, flew to Washington DC via Dakar and drove the 1 200 km to Manistee,

Michigan, in two days. At least I had Dewet for company, which was a big help – and highly entertaining. The day prior to the event, Dewet accompanied me on a lap of the course, which consisted of mainly non-technical but sandy single track. For the race we were set the task of doing three laps of the rather flat and winding 54km course. The route was mainly in a forest, which was a blessing as the temperature soared beyond the 30 degrees Celsius mark. Unexpectedly for the start of such a long event, the riders immediately set a fast pace as everyone vied to be first into the single track. The first lap flew by and I was content lapping about a minute behind the leaders as we started the second lap. I made a quick stop to readjust a slipping seat post and collect some fresh bottles. The stop was made quicker by the hordes of mosquitoes and horse flies that attacked as soon as anyone was stationary for more than a second. I am not sure if it was caused by blood loss

after their attack, but after the stop I just could not get going again. I really struggled through the second lap. My race plan was to look after body and bike on the first two laps and find out what I could do on the final lap, but at that stage I didn’t feel as if I would even see the last lap. Dewet was on hand with a smile and some more bottles at the start of the third and that seemed to lift my spirits. I felt a little better and even passed some riders again; at least until the last water point where Dewet was on hand to witness me eating as if I were in a competition for “The Biggest Gainer”. The last 20km wasn’t my best, but I survived and finished 13th in my first attempt at a hundred-miler. Not a great result, but a realistic one, considering all that had to be been done before the start of the event. It was also a good learning experience and I look forward to putting the knowledge to good use next time. •CN

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Technical

words: Hanco Kachelhoffer • picture: Photosport International

Finding the right saddle is extremely important One of the biggest issues that cyclists – newcomers and experienced riders alike – have to work out is to find the right saddle. It is a matter of deciding on the most suitable shape and width. There are, however, a few guidelines that make it possible to find the perfect saddle. About 80 per cent of new bikes come with a standard mass-production saddle. In addition to the proper bike setup that has to be done, any proud owner of a new bike has to ensure the saddle fits that part of the body that needs complete comfort. All leading saddle manufacturers do extensive and continuous research to develop and optimise their products to cater for riders of all shapes and sizes and participating at all levels. I believe a softer saddle does not necessarily provide a more comfortable ride and cause less pain. In the same breathe it must be said neither does a full carbon 60-gram saddle.

Finding the right saddle is imperative to get proper enjoyment out of your riding.

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The “right” saddle has solid padding, is made of a good material and is of the correct width. It should be designed to optimise blood flow. The saddle is the most important contact point between you and your bicycle. That is why saddles come in different widths. They can be, for example 137, 144 and 155 mm wide. Whether it feels hard or soft when you hold it in your hands, the ultimate factor is whether it has the perfect width for your body. Anyone, from Tour de France riders to complete novice cyclists, must get that individual fit. Most professionals will not try to save weight by selecting the lightest saddle. They would rather find the most comfortable one and save weight elsewhere on the bike. The way Lance Armstrong went about it is a good example. There are, of course, different saddles for

men and women. A woman won’t feel comfortable on a saddle designed for men. That is why the manufacturers of most big brands cater for male as well as female cyclists. In general, women need a wider saddle. When buying your next bike or just a saddle for the one you have, keep these guidelines in mind: Look at the saddle with which the bike comes and measure the width. Measure your “sit bones”. Most good bike shops will have a sit-bone measuring device. Pressure should be felt on your sit bones; that is normal. Remember that saddles for road bikes and mountain bikes differ only in their shape, not in width. Also keep in mind that changing a saddle will probably affect your saddle height. Therefore you will have to adjust your bike setup accordingly. Both the height of the saddle and the setback must be checked. •CN


Technical

words: Coetzee Gouws

Be bright – get the right light The winter months tend to curtail early morning and evening riding, but with the right lights cyclists can improve their visibility and stay in the saddle all year round. “When customers come in, I always ask them whether they want to see where they are going or whether they want to be seen,” says former SA road champion Bruce Reyneke, owner of Bruce Reyneke Cycles in Lynnwood, Pretoria. Although riding conditions will determine which equipment they’ll need, cyclists are required by law to have at least a white front light and a red rear light in poor visibility. “If you simply want to be seen under streetlights, you can get away with a flashing front and rear light for a couple of hundred rand,” says Reyneke. He believes that, although they are prohibited overseas, flashing lights are effective because they catch the eye, causing motorists to slow down. “But if you want to see where you’re going in the dark, you’re going to need a

lighTBulB MoMENTs BRUCE REYNEKE’S TOP TIPS FOR RIDING IN THE DARK Don’t wear black. Choose light-coloured and reflective clothing Be vigilant – look out for vehicles Take quieter roads where you can Ride in a group for greater visibility Get into a routine. If you ride the same route at the same time every day, motorists get used to seeing you.

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Cyclingnews July 2012

solid light at the front and you will have to spend a bit more.” For just over R1 000 you can get a light that is 1 600 lumens strong. “That’s brighter than a car light. You have to angle it down to light your path, otherwise cars will sometimes flash their lights at you because it’s so bright.” Aside from roadies training in the pre-dawn hours, the popularity of evening mountain-bike races, such as ASG Events’ Night Rider Series, has resulted in a growing trend towards good lighting. “For most people, money is an issue. So the first time they buy something cheap; then they come back and buy a proper light.” Reyneke recalls his heyday in the early 1980s, when lightweight dynamos were considered cutting edge. “They didn’t really work, though. I used to have a thing on my arm; a little light showing front and back. It was very primitive.” Significant advances have been made since then, especially with the advent of LED

globes. “In the past three to five years, the technology has improved a lot in terms of brightness, battery life – mostly rechargeable batteries – and weight.” Riders can also consider larger clip-on lights, whether for clothing or the bike. Reflective kit can be another useful add-on. “In this case, more is definitely better.” Reyneke says maximum visibility is the key. The concept is effectively illustrated during the monthly “critical mass” social night rides in cities such as Johannesburg and Cape Town. Part of a worldwide movement, contingents of more than 500 riders regularly take to the streets on well-lit bikes to create awareness of cyclists as legitimate road users. This is particularly important in view of the department of transport’s long-term plan to promote cycling as a commuter mode of choice, says Reyneke. “But there’s still a belief out there that as a cyclist you don’t have a right to be on the road. There is no such law.” •CN



Cyclingnews - July 2012