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Tri-Nations International Track Challenge - NE

Johannesburg, Saturday, March 15, 2003


Van Zyl brilliant, but Australia takes overall

By Paul Martin, SA Cycling Federation

Team SA's Olympic medal hopeful Jean-Pierre van Zyl showed just why he is rated as one of the world's leading endurance track cyclists, but his efforts were not enough to help his team to avoid defeat at the hands of Australia, in the Tri-Nations International Track Challenge at the Bellville Velodrome on Friday night.

From the start, it was clear that this was going to be Van Zyl's night, as he proved to hot to handle for Australian Stephen Rossendell in the 15km points race, ending with a total of 23 points, compared to the 19 of the man from Down Under.

Van Zyl, arguably one of Potchesftroom's most famous sporting products, gave the Aussies much opportunity to study the race number on the back of his green-and-gold national kit, and he left the visitors all geared up with nowhere to go, by winning the elimination and 1500 metres events as well.

While Van Zyl and team-mate Robbie Dale paired up to dominate the 100 lap Madison race, the damage had already been done earlier in the meeting, with Australia's world junior 1km time trial champion Wade Cosgrove taking the sprint honours, with team-mate Jason Niblett next best.

Handicapped by the withdrawal of SA 1km time trial record-holder Garren Bloch due to illness earlier in the day, Team SA manager Willie Newman had to juggle his combinations, eventually settling on an Olympic sprint trio of national sprint champion Shawn Lynch, Charl Jubber and Morne Blignaut, but here too, Team SA found themselves a shade off the pace of the Aussies, who took the spoils in 48,94, compared to the 50,80 clocked by the hosts.

In the junior competition, Belgium showed their class in recording a comfortable Tri-Nations victory over their South African counterparts.


Open 15km points race
1 JP van Zyl (SA)             23 pts
2 Stephen Rossendell (Aus)    19
3 Steve Fitzpatrick (Aus)     13
Open Elimination race
1 JP van Zyl (SA)
2 Stephen Rossendell (Aus)
3 Robbie Dale (SA)
Open 1500 metres
1 JP van Zyl (SA)           1.45,39
2 Todd Wilksch (Aus)
3 Jason Niblett (Aus)
Open Sprint final (1st ride)
1 Wade Cosgrove (Aus)         12,62
2 Jason Niblett (Aus)
Open Sprint final (2nd ride)
1 Wade Cosgrove (Aus)         12,52
2 Jason Niblett (Aus)
Open Olympic team sprint
1 Australia                   48,94
2 South Africa                50,80
3 SA Federation               52,47
Open 100 laps Madison
1 JP van Zyl/Robbie Dale (SA)
2 Kenny de Ketele/Dominique Cornu (Bel)
3 Steve Fitzpatrick/Peter Fitzpatrick (Aus)
Final Open team standings
1 Australia                   77 pts
2 SA                          59
3 SA Federation               15
Final junior team standings
1 Belgium                     42 pts
2 SA Junior                   21
3 SA Development               4