NMMU cyclists gear up for next year’s tour

THE Bestmed-Shukuma Madibaz team will be looking to continue their success at one of the country’s longest-running cycling events when they return to The Herald VW Cycle Tour next year.

The NMMU team, based at the Vodacom Indoor Sport Centre on south campus, boast several top-class riders and have had numerous top-10 finishes in the past. The women and U23s have done especially well.

This year, six members finished in the top 10 in the various categories, including Christiaan van Aardt (2nd U23), Monique Gerber (5th overall woman and 2nd Elite) and Allison Hertel (6th overall woman and 1st woman vet 40-49).

NMMU cycling manager Theresa le Roux said NMMU enjoyed The Herald VW Cycle Tour as it is the biggest event on the cycling calendar in the Eastern Cape.

“It also gives our senior and especially our younger riders the opportunity to compare themselves with the best in the country,” Le Roux said.

There are several stars to look out for. The men who are doing well at the moment are Conrad Viljoen in the 30+ section, Steven Shirley in the 40+ division, Christiaan van Aardt in the U23 section and Kellan Gouveris in the Elite section.

“I must give special mention to Bradley Gouveris who, at the moment, is one of the top junior riders in the country. He is a future star,” Le Roux said.

“Regarding our lady riders, we have the two Gerber sisters [Monique and Anja] who are back in form and, of course, Allison Hertel is always among the top 10 ladies overall.” Le Roux said she was looking forward to seeing how the students performed in next year’s The Herald VW Cycle Tour as the Madibaz team finished second at the Ussa Cycle Tour this year with only three riders.

“It will give us an idea of how things will go at the Ussa tour next year. And, of course, to see how Bradley will perform among the juniors.”

The Madibaz team have recently started preparing for The Herald VW Cycle Tour after taking a break from some tough riding during the Ussa tour.

The cyclists excelled in the Spar Daily Dispatch Race in February, where they won most of the podiums. Viljoen was the top man overall.

He also won this year’s Makro Bestmed Cycle Tour and the Penny Pinchers GOK Cycle Tour.

“Our riders don’t get the opportunity to race every weekend . . . However, our riders do the university proud in every race,” Le Roux said.

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