Growing consumer demand for the Westfalia three-bike rack has seen Positive Sports Solutions make the product available from the beginning of this month. The South African cycling distribution company has negotiated a number of contracts over the past year to bring various premium brands to the market in the Southern Africa Development Community. Among these are the highly rated Westfalia bike racks, the components of which are imported from Germany and manufactured locally. After initially offering the two-bike rack to the southern African market, Positive Sports Solutions has gone a step further to satisfy a growing call for the slightly bigger three-bike option. David Pieterse, the company's product and technical manager, said they had received "loads of requests" from cycling enthusiasts for the next option. "There is far more interest in the three-bike rack compared to the two-bike one," he said. "I think you find, as a cost factor, many people club together to attend races nowadays, so it's obviously better to transport as many bikes as you can. "In addition, if you go somewhere with your family or friends, the three-bike option makes it ideal to travel together." The good news for those who want to transport equipment is that the three-bike rack is almost identical to its smaller cousin and operates in the same way as the two-bike rack. "People will have no difficulty adapting to the three-bike product because there is little difference, besides, naturally, being slightly bigger," said Pieterse. "It complies with all the necessary legislation and has been tested in exactly the same as the two-bike rack. "All the racks have been TUV-tested and the three-bike rack is as stable as any other." Being TUV-tested means the product has been examined to international standards and has satisfied all the requirements. Translated into English, TUV stands for Technical Inspection Association. He added that the locking system was the . . .
Madibaz sevens rugby star Eloise Webb is ready to take her career to the next level after being awarded a Springbok contract last month for the first time. The 22-year-old Nelson Mandela University education student, who lives in Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth, is set to finish her course this year and is relishing the opportunity of playing rugby fulltime. Webb made her national debut in 2016 and said "it means the world to me to be given a contract". "I really want to play sport for a living while I'm still young enough," she said. "So this is a huge opportunity for me to do that. "It was quite a surprise as I always felt there were up-and-coming players who had worked just as hard for a contract and their chances would be better. "But our coach [Paul Delport] did one-on-ones where he spoke to each and every player about the contracts and what is expected of us." Her contract is for two years and Webb, who grew up in Gonubie, East London, said it was a relief to able to focus on "just playing rugby". She added that there were many lessons for the national squad this year, with the most important being that the team needed to stick together when the going got tough. "If we can do that, we will still make it through to the other side," said Webb. "This year was a very tough year for us as we didn't perform in the World Cup or Commonwealth Games. But as a team we were able to pick ourselves up and did much better in the Dubai tournament." She was a member of a new-look national squad which introduced six uncapped players at the Emirates Airlines Dubai Sevens, where the SA team finished with the silver medal. "We knew it was going to be tough for us, but we decided that no matter the challenges we faced we would stick together and make sure we played for each other. "And it turned out that we made the final, beating the [invitational] Tribe 7s team [22-12] and then overcoming one of three Japanese teams at the tournament in the . . .
The Madibaz B cricket team relied on a committed team effort to win their section in the University Sport South Africa tournament in the Western Cape last week. Comprising players mainly from the George campus, the Nelson Mandela University side triumphed in thrilling fashion against Free State University in the pool B final when the week ended in Stellenbosch on Friday. Hugo Loubser, the Madibaz sports manager in George, said their success had boiled down to everyone contributing at some stage. Although Hanno Kotze led the way with the bat to be named the batsman of the tournament, he said the team effort from the whole squad was the common thread in their success. "The fact that in four of the games we had four different players winning the man of the match award is an indication of how everyone made a contribution," he said. "During the week the wickets were shared among all the bowlers and at any one time we could call on at least seven or eight bowlers to share the responsibility." Before the tournament Loubser said Madibaz B had set their sights, at least, on making the semifinals of their section. They surpassed their initial goal, with the players showing great determination to defeat the Bloemfontein outfit by two wickets in the pool decider. After losing the toss and being sent in to bat, the Free Staters were stunned by Lyall Petersen's 4/24 to be shot out for 128 in 37.1 overs. The match had been reduced to 47 overs a side because of rain. In their response, Madibaz slipped to 109/8, but an unbeaten 46 from Travis Ackermann took them across the line in the 44th over. "It was not an easy pitch to bat on and we kept losing two wickets at a time. Their attack did make life difficult for our batsmen," said Loubser. "But full credit must go to captain Travis Ackerman, who showed great patience at the crease to take us across the line. "This was a big stepping stone for someone who was playing in his first USSA week and it . . .
Moving the start for the Liberty TransCape MTB Encounter from Knysna to George has resulted in a slightly shorter overall distance, but has enabled route director Wayne Collett to make significant improvements. The seven-stage mountain-bike race, powered by Volvo, takes place from February 2 to 9 and will end at La Couronne Wine Estate in Franschhoek in the Western Cape. Previously the overall route, which started in Knysna, was over 650km. Next year's riders will take a 591km journey through some of the most popular and scenic trails in South Africa. Collett said the decision to start in George not only allowed the route planners to bring in a strong element of diversity to the stages, it also enabled them to incorporate some exciting new sections. "Previously, the first three days were characterised by relatively long stages because of the overall distance you had to cover," he said. "But now there is no stage much longer than 100km and that means it is a little easier. Not having to do those long stages allowed us to add different elements to the routes." By starting in George they were able to add terrain diversity to the race by bringing the Klein Karoo back into the mix, said Collett. "This year the Klein Karoo was not part of the route, but the new start means you are quickly introduced into three distinct sections on the opening day. "First you have the coastal character of the George region, before going over Montagu Pass, which provides a different element altogether. "Once you have crossed the mountain, you descend into the Karoo and that, of course, offers you something else again, with its semi-arid conditions." After a stretch through the Karoo, he said the diversity was extended on stage three when the riders would go from the Karoo over the Rooiberg Pass and back towards more coastal-like conditions. "From there they will roll through various farmlands of wheat and dairy before hitting some single-track sections in . . .
Rugby star Wian Conradie says hard work was the key to success during his five years at the University of Johannesburg after recently being recognised for his dedication on and off the field. At the varsity's annual awards gala function in October the 24-year-old Namibian was voted UJ's student-athlete of the year, while also receiving the silver medal in the sportsman of the year category. It was the first award which made the final-year quantity surveying student particularly proud. The criteria for the student-athlete award are a combination of what a student achieves academically and the highest sporting level reached. The duration of the period is also taken into account as it is the average of the students' marks during their time at UJ which is considered. Over four years, excluding 2018, Conradie averaged 79.2% in his course and represented the UJ first rugby team in the Varsity Cup, where they finished third this year. During this time, he also turned out for Namibia at the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Although rugby is a big part of his life, Conradie said it was his intention from the outset to make sure "I get something behind my name". "I always felt it was essential to get a qualification for the days after rugby and it was quite hard juggling all my commitments," he said. "I used to have to go gym in the morning and then spend the day in classes before focusing again on rugby practice in the afternoon. "And, of course, if you want to get somewhere [in rugby] you have to make sure you perform to make the side." He added, though, that he received plenty of support from his mentors at UJ, both academically and on the sports field, which helped him to cope with the load. "At the end of it all there is a lot of satisfaction at what I have managed to achieve and I am so blessed that it worked out so well." Despite being in the running for the student-athlete award in previous years - he received bronze and silver medals in . . .
The Takealot Tour of Good Hope's elevation to UCI status for 2019 will ensure that one of South Africa's premier road tours is a drawcard for local and international competitors. It is the first time that the five-day race, which takes place in the Cape Winelands from March 4 to 8, will have UCI points up for grabs and Cycling SA general manager Mike Bradley believed it would benefit riders across the board. He said it was the national body's aim to develop more UCI-classified races and they had, therefore, approached race organisers ASG Events to consider this option. With the documentation completed, the Tour of Good Hope has received UCI 2.2 status. It joins the only other event in South Africa with a similar ranking, the Tour de Limpopo. Bradley said their top priority was to create more opportunities for South African riders to earn UCI points. "Having these sorts of races is important, particularly at this time because from now until October it is Olympic qualification year," he said. "That means the higher our riders rank internationally, the more we will have to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. "Having UCI status helps from a strategic point of view, allowing our riders to earn points in events close to home. "And then, even when they do have to travel, at least they have collected UCI points and this makes them contenders to be considered for Continental or Pro Continental outfits. "The more SA cyclists we have in those teams, the better for the development of the sport in the country." Bradley said another benefit of having UCI status was the potential to attract strong foreign outfits. "International teams don't look at anything that's not UCI-rated," he said. "I have already had some interest from teams abroad for the Tour of Good Hope and have put them in touch with the race organisers. "It's important to attract international competition to local races as it provides stronger competition for our cyclists . . .
The annual Encounter Series, which includes three multi-stage races under the ASG Events banner, will retain its popular status among South African mountain-bikers after Liberty renewed their sponsorship for 2019. The series will begin with the seven-stage TransCape journey from George to Franschhoek in February and continues with the Winelands Encounter in April and the Waterberg Encounter in June. The three-day Winelands and Waterberg events have become firm favourites on the South African racing calendar and this year the Liberty TransCape MTB Encounter, powered by Volvo, became part of the series for the first time. Taking riders on a 591km route, which incorporates some of the most iconic trails in the country, ASG Events' Fritz Pienaar said the TransCape combined "some hard-core mountain-biking with a luxurious experience off the bike". "The whole focus is on the high-end journey and we feel this is an incentive for those in the corporate world to go through a unique experience," he added. "We are focusing on an up-market product and an example of this is that we will host the riders in guest houses as we are doing away with tented accommodation." Killy Bacela, Liberty Group divisional director for brand & marketing, said they were delighted to be involved once more. "We are proud of the partnership with the Encounter series and view this as an investment that has a lasting impact on the communities in which we do business," said Bacela Alluding to the new starting venue of George, as opposed to Knysna, Pienaar said it was an attempt to create more diversity in the route for the riders. "By starting in George it allows us to take the stages through the Karoo region as well as incorporating sections along the coast and then ending up going through the Cape Winelands to the finish in Franschhoek." The five-star offering, he said, would be maintained through the three-day Winelands and Waterberg Encounters. "These are the . . .
National player Casey McLeavy will be an important part of the bid by the Madibaz women's water polo team to capture a medal at the University Sport South Africa tournament in East London this weekend. The Madibaz women's water polo team will be aiming to transform a series of competitive results into a medal-winning position at the University Sport South Africa tournament this weekend. The event takes place at the Joan Harrison Complex in East London from Saturday to Monday. Madibaz Sport water polo manager Melinda Goosen said there was a strong thread of commitment running through the squad and they were determined to prove a point on this national stage. "In recent years our women's side have consistently made the semifinals, but we have usually ended fourth overall," she said. "This year our goal is to medal. "There are a number of new faces in the squad, with half the team about to experience their first USSA tournament, but there is a very good work ethic among the players." She said the squad trained twice a day on a regular basis, before 6am and a second session often ending after 6pm. "Being a university side, the academic commitments of the student-athletes play a big role in the availability of our players, especially during the Currie Cup tournament. "But the players are fully committed and have been training up to three times a day in the build-up to the USSA event. "It's crucial for us to do well as we are looking for a major sponsor to come on board to back the water polo club. "We have the players and structures in place, but the team have to organise music trivia evenings and special events to help raise money to compete in the Currie Cup and USSA." Goosen said players such as Meghan Maartens, Casey McLeavy, Charne Keen, Hannah Werth, Kelsey Vaughan, Mirricke du Plessis and Nina Cressey would provide the experience, while their biggest challenge was a lack of tournament match practice. "For example, UCT and Maties . . .
Former University of Johannesburg star Aphiwe Dyantyi hopes his meteoric rise to stardom will provide inspiration for young rugby players coming through the ranks to follow in his footsteps. The 24-year-old wing shot to prominence this year with a series of stunning performances for the Springboks, culminating in him being named the Breakthrough Player of the Year at the World Rugby awards gala function in Monaco last Sunday. Remarkably, just a few years ago he practically gave up rugby altogether. After making his mark with UJ in the Varsity Cup last year, Dyantyi's career has blossomed. He made his international debut this year and has scored six tries in 13 Tests. The talented player, though, has kept his feet on the ground, knowing that he needs to be an example to others. "I just want to keep on challenging myself to keep on improving and hopefully make a difference for our country," he said following the award announcement at the weekend. "But equally, I want to make an impact on someone else's life, someone who will see my story as an inspiration to do something great out there. That is my ultimate goal." He described his year as "more than a roller-coaster", a scenario he has been accustomed to dealing with during his career. After starring in the age-group ranks during his schooldays at Dale College in King William's Town, Dyantyi failed to make the grade in the open division and his interest in the game waned somewhat. His focus turned to academics when he attended UJ in 2012, but thankfully he was spotted by the varsity coaches when helping out in a "koshuis", or residence, league match. Firm guidance from then UJ U19 coach Mac Masina and first team mentor Werner Janse van Rensburg saw Dyantyi's interest in the game revived, providing the catalyst for his success at the highest level. Dyantyi has not forgotten those who helped him. "I've been truly blessed in so many ways with the people around me who have helped me in . . .
Don those cycling shorts, show off your mettle and display all that time spent on the road bike. What is known as PE’s toughest cycle race is just around the corner! The Williams Hunt Isuzu Steak Race is set to take place on Saturday, 8 December. The mass start at 6 am is from the Grass Roof Farm Stall, corner of Seaview Road and Heron Road. The home-grown and respected motor dealership Williams Hunt Isuzu will have some of their toughest vehicles on display at the start: a fitting tribute to tough-minded athletes. Whether competing for a win or improving upon a personal best, all cyclists participating in the Williams Hunt Isuzu Steak Race deserve a champion's welcome home across the finish line. There is no prize money for this event. All the entry fees – at R120 per visitor’s entry – and donations will go towards a chosen charity. “We have decided to support an organisation known for alleviating the burden of those they support through counseling and other means, whether to individuals or to their families and loved ones,” said Trevor Villet, dealer principal at Williams Hunt Isuzu. Kenneth Bartle, programme manager at Isuzu said, “The Masters and Ladies Cycle Club has extended their thanks for the sponsorship of the Williams Hunt Isuzu Steak Race.” Check out the Masters’ and Ladies Cycle Club facebook page for details on entry fees and race rules. The Williams Hunt Isuzu Steak Race is described as 90 km of grueling hills to Van Stadens River Mouth and back. The very hilly route reaches an elevation of over 1500 metres. The first hill is Theescombe Hill (Welcome Road). From there it is an undulating route along Kragga Kamma Road with a small climb up to Cows Corner in Colleen Glen. Whether the wind is behind your back or the sun is shining on your face, the Williams Hunt Isuzu Steak Race will require mental stamina as much as pedal power. The 45km turning point is about 400 metres from the Van Stadens River mouth entrance on a gradual . . .