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Photo ©: Schaaf

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South African National Championships - CN

Welkom, South Africa, June 12-15, 2003

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Race 1 - June 12: Elite Women's Time Trial, 20 km

Ronel has that high five feeling

SA cycling star Ronel van Wyk showed red hot form as is the colour of her hair, in winning her fifth consecutive national time trial title at the SA Cycling Federation's SA Road Championships in Welkom on Thursday.

Van Wyk, a Boksburg-based graphic designer, completed the 20km time trial route in 29 minutes 45,9 seconds, to finish 46,3 seconds ahead of nearest rival Nicolene Schepers (Southern Gauteng), with Engela Conradie (Free State South) next best, 48,4 seconds behind the winner.

After taming the Phakisa Freeway motor racing track in Welkom, Van Wyk described the route as a ‘twist and turn' course, with tight corner work required in order to ensure that not too much time is lost on the bends.

"The corners are trickier than people think and a rider could lose up to a minute if not concentrating properly out there," said Van Wyk, adding that the wind picked up significantly during her time trial performance.

Van Wyk's victory was made even sweeter by the fact that she has been focusing on her track preparations for her points race outing at the World B Championships in Aigle, Switzerland from July 5-9.

"If I can get a top nine placing in the points race in Aigle, it should see SA on its way to qualification for a points race spot at the Athens Olympics next year," she added.

Referring to Sunday's 142km women's road championships in Welkom, Van Wyk said that the route could still surprise many of the riders, who are of the opinion that it is a flat course.

"It is not often that SA's top women riders ride a distance of over 120km, so this longer route could have a telling effect on several riders, with Eastern Province's Anriette Schoeman who has won for the past three years, and Schepers the ones to watch," said Van Wyk, rating Altie Pienaar (Gauteng North) and Conradie as outsiders for the title, and Thea Barkhuizen (Southern Gauteng) as the ‘wildcard'.

As for her own chances, Van Wyk smiled: "I hope I will be back for another winner's interview after Sunday's race."


Elite Women

1 R. Van Wyk (Central Gauteng)               29.45.9
2 N. Schepers (Southern Gauteng)              0.46.3
3 E.C. Conradie (Free State South)            0.48.4
4 A. Pienaar (Gauteng North)                  0.49.7
5 T. Barkhuizen (Southern Cape)               0.53.7
6 A. Wasserman (Southern Gauteng)             1.11.4
7 C. Slingerland (North West)                 1.38.3
8 L. Burger (North West)                      1.44.0
9 C. Viljoen (Free State South)               2.03.7
10 R. De Lange (Gauteng North)                3.48.6

Junior Women

1 N. Swanepoel (Southern Cape)               20.37.1
2 Y. Du Toit (Free State North)               0.15.1
3 K.T. Thopmson (Gauteng West)                1.03.7
4 T. Daniel (Gauteng North)                   1.14.1
5 M. Cooks (Mpumalanga)                       1.30.6
6 A. Furstenberg (Gauteng North)              1.38.8
7 C. Gous (Gauteng West)                      2.45.0

Junior Men

1 S.A. Hope (Central Gauteng)                27.12.3
2 E. Tarr (Mpumalanga)                        0.06.0
3 H. Kachelhoffer (Free State South)          0.06.9
4 J-L. Augustyn (Eastern Province)            0.14.2
5 G. Schoonraad (Free State South)            0.19.8
6 J. Van Heerden (Mpumalanga)                 0.25.4
7 C. Viljoen (Central Gauteng)                0.31.8
8 M. Potgieter (Mpumalanga)                   0.50.0
9 Q. Henegan (Gauteng North)                  0.50.1
10 L. Nel (Gauteng North)                     0.50.5