Steven van Heerden won the Bestmed Satellite Classic cycling road race for the first time as he outsprinted his rivals in the 110km event near Hartbeespoort Dam in North West Province today. The 25-year-old BCX rider, from Kempton Park in Johannesburg, held on in the final surge for the line to win in a time of 2:35:18. He was followed home by Jayde Julius (ProTouch) and Dylan Girdlestone (OfficeGuru). Van Heerden was part of the four-man BCX outfit contesting the race, which included defending champion Nolan Hoffman, Chris Jooste and Brandon Downes. After several near misses, he said he was thrilled to win his maiden Satellite title, as well as being pleased with his conditioning at this stage of the season. "I've had a few years of bad luck in this race and it was great to be able to turn it around this time," he said. "We are now looking ahead to the Amashova [in Durban] next weekend and it's nice to know the speed is there after putting in some hard work. "Besides next week's race, we are preparing for the SA track championships and the continental track champs early next year." He said the team had worked well together to set up his drive for the line, with Hoffman and Jooste part of an early breakaway before being caught by the peloton at the start of the Hekpoort climb, which comes in the latter stages of the race. "There was quite a fast start and a lot of moves before it all came back together in the early part of the race," said Van Heerden, who won the trapNET 360 100km event in July. "Then Nolan and Chris were part of a breakaway group at about the 30km mark. I missed that move, but the bunch kept up the pace and we closed in at Hekpoort when they had a lead of just over a minute." He said a group of eight riders, including himself and Downes, then got away when ProTouch led an attack. "We drove it quite hard to the top of Hekpoort and then we just carried on from there." With about a kilometre to go, Girdlestone made . . .
National long jump ace Ruswahl Samaai and Banyana Banyana soccer star Thato Letsoso were named the University of Johannesburg sports stars of the year at a gala function at the Randpark Golf Club in Johannesburg last night. It was the third year in a row that Samaai received the Sportsman of the Year accolade, deservedly earned after claiming a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in Australia in April. Letsoso's Sportswoman of the Year award came after a stellar season on the soccer field, culminating last month in her being part of the national squad, which won the Cosafa Cup in Port Elizabeth. The student-athlete award, which covers academic achievement and sporting excellence, went to rugby star Wian Conradie. A fourth-year quantity surveying student, he has averaged 79.2% on the academic front during his time at the university. On the sports field he turned out for the UJ first team, which came third in the Varsity Cup, and also represented Namibia. The 27-year-old Samaai, who is a fourth-year logistics student, has been a leading performer at an international level since he took bronze in the long jump at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Besides emulating that achievement this year with a leap of 8.22m, he represented UJ at the IAAF Diamond League finals in Switzerland where he finished second overall by jumping 8.32m. One of his best performances came in the African Championships in Asaba, Nigeria, when he walked away with the gold medal. His winning jump of 8.45m was just four centimetres short of his personal best of 8.49m. The 22-year-old Letsoso, a third-year sports psychology student, has been at the forefront of UJ's success on the soccer field. She showed her leadership skills by captaining the varsity team to first place in the University Sport South Africa tournament held in Port Elizabeth in July. Appointed captain of the Ussa team to compete in the Confederation of University and College Sports Association Games in . . .
South African cyclist Ryan Gibbons uses the premium Spanish brand of Luck cycling shoes, which will be available in South Africa from the beginning of November through the offices of local cycling distribution company Positive Sports Solutions. Photo: Supplied Cycling distribution company Positive Sports Solutions has added another string to its bow by setting up an agreement to distribute Spanish-produced Luck shoes to all countries in the Southern Africa Development Community. The SA company has embarked on a policy of providing quality sports equipment at an affordable price to local consumers and this is the latest deal they have signed. Already, premium brands such as HEAD bikes, Gipiemme wheels, Westfalia bike carriers and Controltech products are available through Positive Sports Solutions. In tandem with Cheristar under businessman Wihan Snyman, which imports the brand from Spain, the Luck shoes will be available from the first week in November. Snyman said the Spanish firm, which was established in 1990 by Juan Jose Pascual, had developed a reputation for producing highly rated cycling shoes. "There's an interesting background to the company because the production of the cycling shoes was first started by Pascual's father, who worked in a footwear factory," he said. "An avid cyclist who had knowledge of shoe production, he started making cycling shoes in his spare time but never developed further than opening a small shop. "The young Pascual, inspired by his father's efforts, expanded the operation to the Luck brand which has become highly popular among cyclists around the world." Positive Sports Solutions spokesman David Pieterse said the imported products covered a variety of disciplines, including track and road racing, mountain-biking and enduro, plus road and mountain-bike triathlons. "Cyclists who would like to inquire about the Luck shoes and other sports brands available can visit the Positive Sports Solutions website . . .
Nolan Hoffman says he is always motivated to prove others wrong and that will be his goal when he defends his title in the Bestmed Satellite Classic cycling road race on Saturday. The 110km feature event near Hartbeespoort Dam in North West Province will see cyclists from around the country testing their fitness on a challenging route which includes the infamous Hekpoort climb towards the end of the race. Renowned as a sprinter, the 33-year-old BCX rider showed he could handle a race such as the Satellite Classic by surging first across the finish line last year. "At this stage of my career I always have a lot of motivation for these sorts of races," said the Cape Town Cycle Tour champion. "I'm not necessarily the favourite on the bookies' list, but I like to prove people wrong. "That gives me motivation to do well again and this is a big race in our programme. "It's a hard route and provides a very good indication of where you are at this stage of the season. "If you can get a good result here, it's confirmation that you have done the hard work and are on track for this period of the road-racing season." Hoffman recently won the Tour de Windhoek and although he said that was something of a surprise, he added he always liked to be in good shape at the start of October. "I will be aiming to push hard in the Satellite to see where I am. A win would be good for the confidence and that is a key element for sprinters." While naturally keen to retain the title, Hoffman said BCX had a powerful unit and they would assess the situation on the day. "All of us will be putting our hands up, but the guys are there to help each other. "We have a young guy like Chris Jooste, as well as Steven van Heerden, so we definitely have a few cards to play. "Deciding who is going to be the race leader is always better than just one person having to take responsibility, and we have a number of title contenders." He felt an outfit such as ProTouch, . . .
The University of Johannesburg outfit intend to hit the ground running when the inaugural Varsity Basketball tournament continues at the Wits University Sports Hall on Friday. UJ had a satisfactory opening weekend in the Johannesburg event, winning three of their four matches to leave them second on the log. There are three rounds left and UJ basketball manager Anton van Rooyen said they would be taking each game at a time, with their initial focus being on Friday's clash with Vaal University of Technology (VUT). "As we approach the second half of the tournament we will not look further than our next match," he said. "The first game against VUT is vital to our chances of making the top four. If we can overcome that one it will make qualifying for the semifinals much easier. "That is the big challenge for us at this stage." The UJ squad have set themselves high expectations and while Van Rooyen was happy with their opening performances he said the players were disappointed at losing to city rivals Wits. "For them it is all about bragging rights, so they will want to show what they can do this coming weekend." He said the team's efforts during the power-plays had been integral to their success. The tournament features an innovative power-play period where for two minutes every point scored counts double. "The highlight was definitely doing so well in the power-plays where not a lot of points were scored against us," said Van Rooyen. "We had to dig deep during the game against UCT, but we managed to win comfortably [77-53] in the end. "Some of the lessons we learnt were that we need to be mentally prepared for every game and not to get ahead of ourselves." He added that they were preparing for more intense competition this weekend as the fight for places in the semifinals intensified. Besides VUT, UJ will be up against Tshwane University of Technology and UP-Tuks in their final two round-robin matches. The squad were . . .
Cape Town, 8 October 2018 - The Klapmutskop Trail Network Run, presented by FALKE, will be held at Dirtopia Trail Centre on Delvera farm near Stellenbosch this Sunday, 14 October 2018. This marks the second last race in the fun trail run series and offers access to one of the oldest and most iconic trail networks in the Cape, offering picturesque views from Klapmutskop. With an option of four distances to choose from, the whole family can join in on a lovely morning run in the winelands. Registration starts promptly at 06h45 at the Dirtopia Trail Centre. Staggered race starts will see the longest distance of 15 km runners set off at 08h00, 12.5km at 08h15, 7.5km at 08h30 and the 5km at 08h45. The long-distance runners will be competing for the coveted Klapmuts Cup trophy. Pre-entries can be done online at www.dirtopia.co.za until Thursday, 11 October. Prices start at R100 for the 5km, R120 for the 7.5km, R135 for the 12.5km and R150 for the 15km, while kids under 18 cost R50. Please note late entries, if available on event day, will be at an additional fee. Longer routes offer great climbing on the jeep track through the vineyards towards Klapmutskop, with rewarding singletrack trails and scenic winelands views from the waterpoint of Table Mountain in the distance. The longer distance will be turned around from the normal direction of previous runs. The 5km run, circles through the vineyards and around the farm dams with an abundance of birdlife. Timing for all events will be done with Amarider Trail Tags. No Tag, no time. Tags can be rented or bought from the Dirtopia Trail Centre. Medals will be awarded for the three longer distance finishers. Prize giving and lucky draw with wonderful prizes from FALKE will take place around 10h00. Dirtopia Café will be open all day for breakfast, lunch and coffee. The latest FALKE running, cycling and hiking sock ranges are available online at www.falke.co.za. Follow FALKE on Twitter @FalkeSA, on Instagram . . .
The University of Johannesburg team have their sights set on making the top four when the inaugural Varsity Basketball tournament gets under way at Wits in Johannesburg from Friday. The competition will take place in its entirety at the Wits University Sports Hall, with the opening weekend of matches being played from October 5 to 7. It will be completed the following weekend, with the final set to round off the event on October 14. UJ basketball manager Anton van Rooyen said there was a strong feeling of anticipation in the camp as they looked ahead to the historic tournament. "We have been waiting so long for this to happen. Now that it is finally here we are very excited about making the most of this opportunity," he said. "The exposure we will receive from a tournament such as this is good for the players. "For many years, the University Sport South Africa was the highlight, but now there is another competition comprising the top eight teams. That is a big thing for university basketball." Van Rooyen said their priority would be to make the top four teams after the round-robin phase of the event. "If we are able to do that then we will just take it game by game. We have always been in the top three sides in university tournaments and we want to push on from there. "Wits and Vaal University of Technology are usually the main contenders for the varsity titles, but we are looking forward to challenging them this time." He added that the extra preparation they had undergone earlier this month would stand them in good stead during the tournament. "We have also done a lot of gym work to ensure we are able to adapt to the strenuous demands of playing a number of matches in a concentrated period." Basing their strength on their fitness, speed and power, Van Rooyen said they would be focusing on a concerted team effort to make an impression. "All our players are important to our cause and we believe that even if the team does change . . .
With good preparation under their belts the Madibaz outfit are aiming for a spot in the top four when the inaugural Varsity Basketball tournament begins in Johannesburg this weekend. The competition takes place in its entirety at the Wits University Sports Hall, with the opening weekend of matches being played from today to October 7. It will be completed the following weekend, the climax coming with the final to be held on October 14. Madibaz Sport Basketball manager Bernard Petersen said there was an air of excitement in the Nelson Mandela University outfit's camp as they looked forward to demonstrating their ability on another level. "All of our players have competed in the University Sport South Africa weeks and the players are well prepared and eager to tackle the challenge presented by this event," he said. "The team is feeling confident and our preparations have been focused. We have set ourselves the goal of making at least the top four." He added that experienced players like Elton Mothibi and captain Sikumbuzo Dlamini would have important roles to play during the tournament. "Elton has competed in the Basketball National League and is a very good mentor for the young players. "Sikumbuzo, who has played alongside Elton for the past few years, knows what to expect and he has a good ability to keep the team motivated on and off the court." Petersen said their strength lay in their fitness and movement, with a quick transition game. "The team has been constantly training on a weekly basis for this tournament and I believe that good preparation is the key to success." He felt that the strength of the leagues in Gauteng would make teams such as Wits and Vaal University of Technology the strongest contenders for the title. "They do have a rigorous basketball programme, competing in various leagues. "We don't have that sort of experience, but I believe the youngsters will put up their hands and compete. "This is indeed an . . .
Talented Madibaz squash player John Kuhn returned from the World University Championships in England with some valuable lessons under his belt following a highly competitive tournament. Played in Birmingham last month, Kuhn was part of the South African team which ended sixth overall. In the individual event he won his first-round match before being eliminated from the main draw and eventually ended up 20th overall. "It was probably not my best performance, but there were some very tight and tough games which provided me with a huge amount of experience," said Kuhn, who won the Madibaz Open earlier this year. "From every victory and from every defeat you can always learn, and I took as much as I could from this tournament." He said one of his main lessons was about conditioning the body to handle the stresses of top-level squash. "I learnt that I need to be able to stay in shape to have a chance of performing at this kind of level for an extended period of time. "Many of the players had world rankings, which played a huge role in teaching me about being able to handle the pressure of tough competition. "It was a delight to see the top-ranked players clash and to see how they handled themselves." The 20-year-old lefthander grew up in Bloemfontein, where he attended Grey College at a primary level before moving to St Andrew's School. He showed his squash talent at an early age and represented South Africa at the World Junior Games. After taking a gap year in 2017 he decided to study forestry and is now in his first year at the Nelson Mandela University campus in George. He said it was an honour to represent South Africa and the expectations "are always high". "I was expecting to know a few more players but I didn't know much about the opposition. So it was really good to play against so many different opponents." Kuhn said one of the big factors was getting used to the courts at the venue in Birmingham, which were made of . . .
Standby for thrill-a-minute action as the Gary Kirsten Foundation Under-13 Cricket Sixes Tournament takes flight on 12 October. The competition features players from four schools in Khayelitsha boasting a mix of the region’s best up and coming cricketers. The six-a-side format has gained global popularity in recent years and will provide the ideal platform for high octane cricket. Thirty-six players including 12 girls will be part of the inaugural event to be staged at Masiphumelele Primary School. Gary Kirsten is delighted with the initiative and is looking forward to watching these youngsters exhibit their skills. "It is a wonderful opportunity for the young player's within the GKF Foundation's coaching programme to put their skills to the test," Kirsten said. "We are very excited about the tournament, thankful to the sponsor and just looking forward to seeing the abundance of talent that we know exists in the township," Kirsten added. Foundation Head Coach, Sivuyile Mfunelwa who hails from the region believes the competition will bring the best out of these rising stars. "Most of these players have never played in a big event like this before, this is a good way of introducing them to competition with the hope that in the near future they will move from 6-a-side to the full 11-a-side format,” Mfunelwa said. A healthy rivalry has developed in the township in recent years and Mfunelwa expects a highly competitive environment on matchday. “There is a lot of pride and bragging rights on the line. We are expecting everyone to give their best,” Mfunelwa said. He continued, “The tournament provides important game time for these young players to test and execute all the skills they learned and practiced during the winter off-season.” GKF’s Township Cricket Development programme has elevated the sport in the region immensely. In the space of just four years, hundreds of boys and girls have been introduced to the game with many going on . . .