A group of Africa’s most talented young riders will have a chance to confirm their credentials when they compete in the Bestmed Tour of Good Hope in Paarl from Monday to Friday.
Presented by Scicon and the City of Drakenstein, the week will see the World Cycling Centre Africa team, comprising U23 riders, taking on South Africa’s leading outfits in the five-stage 491km event.
Selected to attend the World Cycling Centre Africa, which is now based in Paarl, the cyclists will spend a year training under the guidance former South African Olympian JP van Zyl.
“We are the development arm of the international cycling body [UCI] and select the best young riders in Africa to undergo specialist training at the centre,” said Van Zyl, a UCI development director.
“The riders come from all over the continent and this year we have promising talent from Ethiopia, Mauritius, the Seychelles, Mali and Burkina Faso.”
Under the guidance of team coach and manager Peter-Lee Jeffries, Van Zyl said the riders had all raced at a top level before and he felt they would be a competitive outfit in the Tour of Good Hope.
“They are seriously talented young riders who have all experienced tours of a similar nature to this one.”
“Having said that, the Tour of Good Hope is a really hard tour, so it will be interesting to see how they perform, especially on the hills.”
The team members for the Tour of Good Hope are Gregory Rougier-Lagane (Mauritius), Christopher Rougier-Lagane (Mauritius), Stephan Belle (Seychelles), Redwan Salih (Ethiopia), Temesgen Mebrahtu (Ethiopia) and Kiflom Gebreselassie (Ethiopia).