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One nation, one team in cycle challenge

SANDTON – The Sandton City Cycle Nation team managed to win the team race during the recent 947 Cycle Challenge.


The Sandton City Cycle Nation cycling team won the women’s group in the Telkom 947 Cycle Challenge.

With the race being ridden in reverse this year, it proved a challenge for the team made up of Joanna van de Winkel, Juanita Venter, Michelle Benson and Cashandra Slingerland.

Lincoln King, the team’s manager said they formed the team in 2015 and have had quite a few riders over the past few years.

“As the reputation of the team grew so did the calibre of rider we were able to attract,” said King.

“We’ve developed from a team that merely made up the numbers to being genuine title contenders wherever we compete.”

He said the team competition in the cycle challenge was part of the Elite women’s race. “There is the individual contest and then there is a team competition which is the cumulative time of each team’s first three riders to cross the finish line. The team with the fastest time spread across these three riders wins the team competition.”

The team’s times were Van De Winkel (2:43:18), Venter (02:46:56), Benson (02:52:02) and Slingerland (02:52:20).

King said the team had a set back two weeks before the race when Van De Winkel fractured her collarbone and sustained injuries to her left hand in a fall during a mountain bike race.

“This definitely hampered her preparation for the Telkom 947 Cycle Challenge. As a precaution, we opted for her not to race the Tshwane Classic which was the week before the Telkom 947 Cycle Challenge.”

He said she maintained a light training load on an indoor trainer.

“Our big concern was would her body be able to cope with the rigours of racing on race day and more importantly, that she try and avoid getting involved in a crash because that would have been catastrophic.

“It’s a testimony to her desire as an athlete and courage that she managed to keep herself near the front of the race and finish on the podium in the top three.”

King drives the support vehicle and shouts instructions and dictates the tactics.

He said he had told Benson and Slingerland that there were two riders up the road and they needed to make sure to get their third rider across the line ahead of the other teams.

“The ladies executed this to perfection. Van De Winkel finished third overall, Venter came in fifth while Benson crossed the line in 13th place.”

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