Schoeman moves into top gear for games in Scotland

[caption id="attachment_36865" align="alignright" width="405"] PEDAL POWER: Bay cyclist Anriette Schoeman is training hard before leaving for the Commonwealth Games, being held in Scotland from July 23 to August 3[/caption]

MULTIPLE champion cyclist Anriette Schoeman is using two national events as part of her build-up for taking part in the Commonwealth Games in Scotland next month and August.

The first is the Knysna Cycle Tour on July 5 and 6 and the second the BestMed Jock Cycle Classique in Nelspruit in Mpumalanga on July 19.

Schoeman is part of an 187-member South African squad for the games, to be held in Glasgow. A total of 70 nations will be represented.

It will be the third time Schoeman has participated in the games.

She made her debut at the Kuala Lumpur games in 1998 and also participated in Delhi in 2010.

Schoeman believes that the team assembled to take part in Glasgow has the potential to do very well.

"We have a really strong cycling team going to these games, with the likes of Ashleigh Moolman Pasio and Cherise Stander.

"If we work hard enough, we can have a successful games," Schoeman said.

Schoeman holds various national titles and records.

Among the highlights of her glittering career are seven Cape Argus Cycle Tour wins, eight South African Elite road race titles, five national track champion wins, and three cyclist of the year awards.

She is also the holder of three national track records.

Another accolade Schoeman can lay claim to is that she is by far the most successful cyclist in South Africa's history, having won more national classics than any other rider.

Schoeman's love for cycling started when she was just 14 after having received her first bike. But she never knew it was a sport until she turned 15.

It was then that she entered her first race and notched up her national colours as a junior and things just took off from there.

At 17, Schoeman entered her first Elite Women's Championships in Cape Town and finished in third place.

It would be this event she would go on to win a record eight times.

Schoeman follows a strict training regime. She trains six days a week, and depending on which season it is, training sessions can last between two to four hours.

She also has some advice for any youngsters looking to take up cycling as a sport: "Get a helmet, get a bike and ride". - Amir Chetty