This week the South African National Road Championships get underway in Mbombela (previously known as Nelspruit). The Men's elite time trial will take place on Thursday 5th of February while the road race is on Saturday 7th of February.
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung will send a strong quartet of riders to defend our national road race title which Louis Meintjes won in Westville last year. As defending road race champion, Louis will be joined by Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, Jacques Janse van Rensburg and Jay Thomson. All 4 riders will also compete in the time trial race.
Many will remember how Louis and Jay tagged teamed their efforts to get one over on Daryl Impey (Orica-Greenedge) last year. This year Impey returns as the race favourite for the national championships after an impressive performance at the Tour Down Under. Impey is also the defending national time trial champion. The local domestic racing scene is also well underway and we expect a strong challenge to come from Europcar SA, Team Abantu, Bonitas and our very MTN-Qhubeka Feeder Team.
The road race will cover 180km's and has no serious climbs but a few undulations will be covered during the 13 lap race. The customary Mbombela heat and wind can once again be expected, adding another dynamic to the race. The 42.7km time trial course is definitely not flat and fast, so a well measured effort will be key in this event.
Rider - Louis Meintjes
"Both races are being run over lapped routes and neither really suit me. There is a small climb on the road race lap but I think the race is most likely to come down to small bunch sprint. This should be pretty ideal for Reinardt, its the same for the time trial. Although you also never know with South African racing, it's always such a lottery as the tactics aren't the same as what they are in Europe. I'm feeling good though, the form isn't super high but it's okay. I'm just feeling a little sad because there is a chance I might lose my jersey."
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung TT Start Times (CAT)
06:46 - Jacques Janse van Rensburg
06:48 - Jay Thomson
06:49 - Reinardt Janse van Rensburg
06:51 - Louis Meintjes
Road Race Start Time
The road race starts on Saturday, 7 February at 06:20 (CAT). You can find course details at www.cyclingsa.com/2015-sa-road-champs.
Team MTN-Qhubeka was founded in 2007, steadily working its way up from a regional team to now being a Continental Pro team with bases in South Africa and Italy. MTN-Qhubeka’s goal is to give talented African riders a path into the pro peloton while raising funds for the Qhubeka charity.
Qhubeka is an Nguni (Zulu, Xhosa) word that means “to carry on”, “to progress”, “to move forward”.Qhubeka (qhubeka.org) helps people move forward and progress by giving bicycles in return for work done to improve communities, the environment or academic results. Having a bicycle changes people’s lives by increasing the distance they can travel, what they can carry, where they can go and how fast they can get there. To contribute to the #BicyclesChangeLives Campaign, click here.
MTN (mtn.co.za) is a long-time supporter of Qhubeka and the team. Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a leading emerging market operator, connecting 219.2 million subscribers in 22 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
Learn more about the team at www.teammtnqhubeka.com.