PHOTO: Chris Hitchcock WORDS: Cycling South Africa

Ryan Gibbons and Candice Lill claim 2021 Individual Time Trial titles at South African National Road Race Championships in Swellendam.

 On a day not entirely suited to the individual time trial pursuit, Ryan Gibbons (UAE Team Emirates) and Candice Lill (faces.africa) claimed the men’s and women’s National Time Trial titles at the 2021 South African National Road Race and Time Trial Championships in Swellendam.

Gibbons completed the 40km men’s time trial course in a time of 51:24.08, with Lill completing the women’s 30km time trial course in 47:04.42.

The day started out cool with light drizzle, the rain coming down harder just as the women’s individual trial began at 10:10am. By the time the men started riding at 12 noon, the rain was gone for the day. Wind was a factor, with riders enjoying a tailwind for the first half of the out-and-back course, only to race the second half of the course into a headwind.

The course for both the men’s and women’s races were fairly straightforward affairs. The men’s 40km route took riders out of Swellendam on the R60 towards Ashton before turning back towards Swellendam at the 20km mark. The women’s 30km race followed the same route, turning at 15km rather than 20. The men’s route had a total elevation of approximately 578m, with the women’s route gaining approximately 425.

In the men’s elite race, the initial pace was set by Matt Beers, who was the first elite rider out of the starting block.

Beers was a late replacement for Team type{DEV} NanoTime teammate Nico Bell, who pulled out of the race during the week due to illness. With just a few rides on a time trial bike prior to the National Championships, the formidable Beers was still able to lay down a marker for the field with a time of 52:38:12. No one else in the field was able to match Beers, until last rider for the day Ryan Gibbons set off. 

“I knew it would be hard to beat Ryan, and he gave me a solid beating in the end,” said Beers. “I think if I lost by a few seconds I would be upset, but losing by a full minute is a hiding. I’m glad I did as well as I did after just two days of riding on the time trial bike.”

Gibbons, who won the Road Race and the Time Trial at the African Road Championships in Morocco earlier this month, was given the greenlight to travel to South Africa two weeks ago and put in a stellar performance in Swellendam.

“Racing at the South African National Championships wasn’t in my original race calendar, but when the opportunity came to travel to South Africa I jumped at it,” said Gibbons.

“I think it’s important for overseas pros to race on home soil as we don’t often get the chance. There was a strong field here and the local guys really rode well. My form was good coming into the event; I backed myself today but was surprised by the route as it seemed a bit harder than I originally thought. I just went as hard as I could and held on for as long as I could.”

ProTouch’s Kent Main (53:11:50) was the third place rider in the men’s elite race. 

Earlier in the day, the women’s elite race started in heavy rain. Right from the start, Lill looked like the rider to beat as she launched down the first descent and over the first small hill. 

Riding last in the elite women’s start group was Carla Oberholzer, who was crowned African time trial champion in Egypt earlier in March. Oberholzer also started like she needed to catch the last repatriation flight before lockdown, but on the day she couldn’t match Lill’s efforts

Zanri Rossouw, who finished third, also gave it everything on the day. It was a remarkable performance from Rossouw, who has not raced since two serious crashes, one at the Eritrea African Continental Championships and another at the African Games in Morocco, in 2019. 

“I can’t believe I won,” said Lill. “It seems a bit crazy. I had a really solid ride out there, although when you finish a time trial it always feels like you didn’t go hard enough. “But clearly today I did go hard enough, and I am stoked to be the South African Time Trial Champion. The course was tough, with lots of rolling hills so it really hurt out there.”

Lill said her husband Darren, a former national road race champion, played a large role in her victory today. “He gave me a lot of guidance on bike setup and how to approach the race. He told me not to worry about the rain, but I was worried if the breaks would actually work! My helmet fogged up a little at one stage and I couldn’t see where I was going, but I am used to racing in mud when it is raining, so it wasn’t too bad. It was a tough effort for 30km, but the end result was worth it.”

VIEW THE FULL RESULTS HERE: http://www.mobiielite.com/results/RaceID/b0d87a15-9d9c-49f4-8f82-0444ee04af13

RESULTS:

Men’s Elite TT

1 Ryan Gibbons 51:24.089

2 Matt Beers 52:38.121

3 Kent Main 53:11.501

 

Women’s Elite TT

1 Candice Lill 47:04.426

2 Carla Oberholzer 48:00.407

3 Zanri Rossouw 48:22.817

 

Men’s U23 TT

1 Marc Oliver Pritzen 54:43.536

2 Jason Oosthuizen 54:54.322

3 Callum Ormiston 55:54.327

 

U23 Women TT

1 Frances Janse Van Rensburg – 00:49:58.823

2 Tiffany Keep – 00:50:52.942

3 Thana Groenewald – 00:52:11.738

 

Junior Women

1 Caitlin Thompson 00:25:00.4

2 Chante Olivier 00:25:17.0

3 Chante Oosthuizen 00:25:30.6

 

Junior Men

1 Pedri Crause 00:28:25.9

2 Kai von During 00:28:43.9

3 Jason Eggett 00:29:15.5

 

U23 Men

1 Marc Oliver Pritzen 00:54:43.5

2 Jason Oostuizen 00:54:54.3

3 Callum Ormiston 00:55:54.3

 

Para T1 Women

Toni Mould 37 01:07:13.1

 

Para T2 Men

Goldy Fuchs 29 00:31:18.2

 

Para C2 Men

Phillo Verlaat 28 00:28:31.5

 

Para C3 Men

Lionel Scholtz 00:23:56.3

Vernon Treu 00:30:05.9

 

Para C4 Men

Warren van Eussen 00:26:31.5

Janus Potgieter 00:26:35.3

Jonathan Pellow-Jarman 00:31:07.5

 

Para C5 Men

Reyaan Traut 00:25:42.7

Para H1 Men

Nicolas Pieter Du Preez 00:48:33.2

 

Para H2 Women

Justine Asher 00:43:37.5

 

Para H3 Women

Palesa Manaleng 33 00:57:56.9

 

Para H3 Men

Stuart McCreadie 00:27:17.3

 

Para H4 Men

Barend Coetzee 00:35:02.9

 

Para H5 Men

Ernst van Dyk 00:26:49.2

 

Masters Women 30-34

Michel Botha 00:35:53.2

Angelique Furstenberg 00:44:19.6

 

Masters Men 85-89

Arthur Duncan 00:38:36.2

 

Masters Men 80-84

Hermanus van der Walt 00:34:21.1

 

Masters Men 75-79

John Moss 00:28:56.0

Masters Men 65-69

Pierre van Hell 00:26:58.7

 

Masters Men 60-64

Adriaan Beukes 00:50:28.1

Errol Pretorius 00:51:38.6

Pa Botha 00:51:58.7

 

Masters Men 55-59

Shane Daniel 00:46:46.4

Jose Antunes 00:47:08.9

Kelson Da Cruz 00:49:18.5

 

Masters Men 50 -54

Donovan van Gelder 00:48:03.6

Koos Klopper 00:48:07.1

Martin van Wyk 00:48:33.4

 

Masters Men 45-49

Kent Kirkwood 00:59:55.7

Murray Hofmeyr Craib 01:02:00.1

Andre Potgieter 01:02:53.3

 

Masters Men 40-44

Thys Oosthuizen 00:58:42.4

Tom Briggs 01:00:25.1

Donovan Geldenhuys 01:00:40.8

 

Masters Men 35-39

Theuns van der Bank 00:57:16.8

Alex Pavlov 00:59:07.0

Martin Pieterse 00:50:35.0

 

Masters Men 30-34

Christiaan Janse van Rensburg 00:57:33.6

Casper Moodie 01:01:00.2

Juan Swanepoel 01:05:37.0