Three rising stars from the KZN Cycling development programme will be part of the global community riding the Virtual aQuellé Tour Durban at the end of July as the race on the global platform Zwift takes them a step closer to realising their riding dreams.
Thabiso Zindela (16) and Unathi Nxumalo (18) from the Mpumalanga township in Hammarsdale will join Lindokhuhle Ngcobo (17) who hails from the Dusi Valley riding on specialised static bikes at the Absolute Motion training studio in Hilton, working with KZN Cycling’s High Performance director Johann Wykerd.
The three teenagers have risen sharply through the ranks of the local development programme, to the point that they are winning medals at national championship level now, and the online races form an important part of their career evolution.
“These rides are part of their preparation for their entry in the E-Racing National Championship for the Junior Men and Women Categories that will be taking place on the 8th August,” explains KZN Cycling Development manager Alec Lenferna.
“This event is going to assist selectors with gauging the form for the upcoming UCI World Championships at the end of September as the E-Racing Champs will be hosted on the Zwift platform.
Zindela has taken the local track racing scene by storm, winning two gold medals at the national track cycling championships in 2018 and breaking a national record after having swept the boards with seven gold medals at the youth track cycling champs that year. He is the current Under 17 provincial time trial and road racing champion to boot.
Nxumalo, who started his career as a promising mountain biker, is also making a big impact on the track racing scene, where he won gold and silver medals at the recent national championships, before going on to win the junior category outright at the recent Drak Extravaganza Road Race.
Ncgobo looks set to follow a similar career path, and serve as a trailblazer for the youth becoming passionate about cycling in the Dusi Valley region.
“The global COVID-19 response has closed the doors to the high level regional and national competition that these young riders were really looking forward to, but as we have seen worldwide, online platforms like Zwift have taken over,” said Lenferna.
KZN Cycling is paying for these young riders to take part in the Zwift races that have been added to the Virtual aQuellé Tour Durban, and Johann Wykerd, who is the HP director, will make sure they have the right equipment to ride the races, and hopefully get noticed, as it is a virtual trial event,” he added.
Since the cancellation of the 2020 aQuellé Tour Durban due to the COVID-19 lockdown rules, the virtual alternative races on 25 and 26 July have caught the riding communities imagination, as the event sticks to its commitment to raise money for The Domino Foundation.
More information can be found at www.tourdurban.co.za