EADP conditioning delivers results at SA Road Cycling Champs

KwaZulu-Natal-based road cyclists enjoyed significant success at the SA Road Championships held in Swellendam recently, with athletes from the province’s Elite Athlete Development Programme walking away with three gold medals and a total of six podium finishes.

The KZN-based women in particular enjoyed one of their best ever showings at the SA Road Champs with Frances Janse van Rensberg winning the Under 23 time trial and road race titles, and stunning the event by racing onto the overall elite podium as well.

“I am still on a cloud!” said the Hilton-based road star.

“The time trial was wet and rainy and I was worried about my legs for the road race, but fortunately I turned around well and was feeling strong for the road race.

“The road race took place in my kind of conditions; hot and windy. With cross winds I found myself in the breakaway as the only Under 23 amongst the elite girls.

“The two leaders got away and I was left in a race with four others up the final climb which I managed to get right to finish on the overall elite podium, which was so good!” she said.

She attributes a lot of her success to the strength and conditioning during the lockdown months and in her pre-season.

“The results from SAs simply would not have been possible without the KZN Department of Sport’s EADP,” said Janse van Rensberg.

“For me core strength is so important, especially in time trials, and all the off-season work with heavy weights is paying off,” she added.

Janse van Rensberg pointed out that the Swellendam nationals had returned the best results by KZN riders for decades, and said that the work from the EADP team at Prime was a significant factor in that.

“I was thrilled with Chloe Bateson winning the junior road title and Tiffany Keep’s medals, especially after her injuries,” she said.

Kloof-based Keep won silver in the individual Under 23 time trial, and then added the bronze in the 133km road race around Swellendam, to cap a remarkable recovery from her concussion injury in November.

“After not racing for so long it was a hard course that took no prisoners and the race was a tough long one at 136km,” said Keep, who was part of the first Elite Athlete Development Programme intake as a promising 15 year old.

“I felt really good on the time trial and, importantly, my second was a lot closer to first that it has been in the past.

“I am in a good space now after my concussion that forced me to write off the rest of last year and reset. I am strong now and feeling positive and in a good mental space,” said Keep.

“I find the EADP programme very motivating,” she added. “I use the gym twice a week. I also use the physios and bios and having Dr Subban the Olympic doctor there gives me huge peace of mind.

“What I find so useful is sharing the facilities with athletes with are at the pinnacle of their careers. That really inspires me,” she added.

Bateson grabbed junior gold in the 80km road race with a perfectly planned final few hundred metres on the climb into the finish.

“This is my best result!” she enthused. “(Caitlin Thompson) broke away with me and attacked on just about every climb. On the last climb I didn’t go all out, made sure I was on the inside of the corner and then attacked in the last part of the climb to set up the gap.

The Ballito home-schooled star works twice a week with Dennis Jackson and says the improvement in key strength areas has made a big difference to her results, and relies heavily on advice and direction from EADP Doctor Kevin Subban.

“I worked hard on my strength during lockdown, and those ZWIFT races were so tough, they are like non-stop time trials!” she said, and added that she was hoping that the 2021 world champs actually happen as this was her key focus.

Travis Stedman added another medal to the KZN tally when he finished third in the Under 23 road race.

The road cyclists currently on the KZN Department of Sport and Recreation’s Elite Athlete Development Programme are Chloe Bateson, Tiffany Keep, Travis Stedman, Frances Janse Van Rensburg, Henry Liebenberg, Unathi Nxumalo and Thabiso Zindela.


Junior women – 15km
Gold: Caitlin Thompson
Silver: Chanté Olivier
Bronze: Chanté Oosthuizen

Junior men – 20km
Gold: Pedri Crause
Silver: Kai von During
Bronze: Jason Eggett

U23 women – 30km
Gold: Frances Janse van Rensburg
Silver: Tiffany Keep
Bronze: Thana Groenewald

Elite women – 30km
Gold: Candice Lill
Silver: Carla Oberholzer
Bronze: Zanri Rossouw

U23 men – 40km
Gold: Marc Pritzen
Silver: Jason Oosthuizen
Bronze: Callum Ormiston

Elite men – 40km
Gold: Ryan Gibbons
Silver: Matt Beers
Bronze: Kent Main

Junior women – 80km
Gold: Chloe Bateson
Silver: Caitlin Thompson
Bronze: Chante Oosthuizen

Junior men – 133km
Gold: Jason Eggett
Silver: Warren Moolman
Bronze: Chanton Perrins

U23 women – 133km
Gold: Frances Janse van Rensburg
Silver: Azulde Britz
Bronze: Tiffany Keep

Elite women – 133km
Gold: Hayley Preen
Silver: Carla Oberholzer
Bronze: Frances Janse van Rensburg

U23 men – 178km
Gold: Marc Pritzen
Silver: Travis Barrett
Bronze: Travis Stedman

Elite men – 178km
Gold: Marc Pritzen
Silver: Willie Smit
Bronze: Nicolas Dlamini