NMMU to host student bike championship

Coetzee Gouws

NINE of South Africa’s top universities will gather in Port Elizabeth next week when the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University hosts the national student cycling championship.

The University Sports South Africa event, presented by Bestmed, starts on June 25 with the mountain bike events, while the opening stage of the three-day road tour follows the next day.

The reigning champion men’s and women’s teams, from the University of Pretoria and the Potchefstroom campus of North West University respectively, will return to defend their titles against some of the country’s top up-and-coming talent.

NMMU cycling manager Theresa le Roux said this was the second time the university would host the event.

The last occasion was in 2008 when NMMU walked away with the overall honours.

Spearheading the Shukuma- NMMU attack this year will be former national downhill racer and team captain Wesley Augustyn, the brother of international pro John-Lee.

Gerrit Nel, Marinus Prinsloo, Waldo Gronum, Phillip Erasmus, Henno Cronje, Sean Bos and Matthew Hayter complete the local lineup.

“The top rider at the champs this year will definitely be Timo Cooper from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, who is currently one of the top mountain bike racers in South Africa,” Le Roux said. Cooper, who races for a pro outfit, finished third overall at last weekend’s RE:CM Knysna 200, alongside his German teammate Nico Pfitzenmaier.

For route information visit www.nmmu.ac.zaand follow the sports links to the cycling club’s home page.

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