The inaugural KwaZulu-Natal Autumn Series is well underway and will enter Margate on Friday.
With one race down, the three-race series is giving great South African riders the chance to compete for important UCI points at international level races.
Team Bonitas rider, Herman Fouche, talks about team dynamics, training and preparation for the next two races taking place on Friday 1 May (Maritzburg Margate May Day Classic) and 3 May (Hibiscus Coast Cycle Challenge) in Margate.
“We will be racing on Friday and Sunday’s races, and we are also doing an event in between on Saturday,” he said.
The team competed in the Freedom Day Classic on Monday 27 April, the first race of the series.
“It was good, hard race and because of the rain, it was very slippery. In the race we were outnumbered and couldn’t manage to bring back our front riders. We’re hoping to really stand out this weekend,” said Fouche.
“To have more races like this is great. We have some of the best roads. We can’t expect it all to happen quickly, but it’s a start. If we can get more European riders here each year, this event really has the potential to grow.
“Also for the SA teams, these races are important because the more points we can get, the more riders were are able to send to Olympics and World Champs,” he said.
Fouche says that the Bonitas Pro Cycling team is excited about doing the long distances associated with the KZN Autumn Series events.
The last long stage distance of 201km in the Mzanzi Tour is prominent for Fouche as it was a stage that he won.
“These longer distances could suit us,” he said.
“All of our riders in the Bonitas team have some good miles in their legs. It’s not going to be easy, but I have a good feeling about it.
“Luthando (Kaka) and I have been the in the team for the longest time. And when some riders leave, new guys come, so it is sometimes difficult to gel overnight and race as a team straight away.
“These things do take some time. Being in KZN for the Monday race, and then Margate on the weekend is a really great team bonding time,” he said.
“It’s like mini tour now with these long races. We have two more to improve on what we did wrong, and hopefully we can pull another win for us,” he concluded.