This is precisely what Louis Visser, junior cyclist from Oudtshoorn has accomplished in 2016. Not only did he experience great success in local and international events, but he was also selected to form part of the South African Junior road team, representing South Africa in two road races in Europe.
Louis started his cycling career at the age of twelve when he took part in a few fun rides where he was spotted by Eden Cycling’s president, Corné Bence. The Eden Sport Academy has played an important role in his cycling endeavours and has provided him with a good foundation and support structure.
His first breakthrough came when he was invited by LEADout Cycling Academy under the management and mentorship of Barry Austin to accompany a junior team to Europe in 2015, participating in UCI and classified events in Belgium, Austria, France and Germany. LEADout Cycling Academy managed several professional cyclists during their junior and U23 careers and also remained involved as mentors of several athletes like Reinhardt Janse van Rensburg, Jaco Venter, Jacques Janse van Rensburg, Louis Meintjes and Johann van Zyl, to name a few.
After Louis’ European tour with LEADout he came back highly motivated and started training with LEADout’s Barry Austin. For the first time he was introduced into a training program with long term goals. “Barry has been instrumental in my development as a cyclist. He provided me with a proper training programme, but even more important, insight into what it takes to be a cyclist,” says Louis.
Louis’ performance the past year was outstanding. He won the 2015 Western Cape MTB Marathon Championships, took second place in the Western Cape Road Championships, third place in the Western Cape Time trial Championships, second junior in the Herald Cycle Tour, seventh place in the SA Road Championships and sixth in the SA Time trial Championships.
Louis Visser’s quest to become a professional cyclist has received a boost when he was invited to race in Spain for Ciclista Club Colindres from June to August this year. Louis found himself amongst a handful of South African cyclists conquering the roads of Europe! During his stay in Europe he competed in 11 races, 7 one day and 4 multi day races including The Vuelta al Besaya, one of Spain’s premier junior cycling events.
The highlight of his tour was winning the last two races and achieving a sprinters jersey in one of the multi-day races.
During his tour in Spain he also represented the South African Junior road team in two road races in Luxenborg and Belguim.
The 5-day Tour of Good Hope and the Cape Town Cycle Tour has been a highlight to Louis, not only because of the good results he achieved, but rather the opportunity to start and race against the country’s best road cyclists. The Tour of Good Hope placed him in 35th overall place, 13th in the U/23, and first as a Junior.
Louis best performance up to date and a highlight in his career was the XXXVIII Andra Mari Sari Nagusia race in Igorre, Spain on 15 August 2016 where he won the race.
On the local scene, he was 1st in the category for Juniors and 36th overall completing the 2016 Cape Town Cycle Tour in 02:39:00 – only 3 minutes 08 seconds behind the winner.
Louis who is still a junior until the end of the year, will focus on his transition from a junior to a U/23 rider. In 2017 he will be competing in the SA Road and Time Trial Championships in February, followed by the Tour of Good Hope, Cape Town Cycle Tour and the ABSA Cape Epic in March and the possibility to return to Europe to race is already on the cards.
“If you aspire to be the best at what you do, you need to train like the best and race against the best.”
Get inspired by this young rider and visit www.louisvisser.co.za