By Quintin van Jaarsveld
Cale Lindecke claimed provincial honours while his sister Amber sealed second place at the season-opening KwaZulu-Natal Road and Time Trial Cycling Championships in Ladysmith at the weekend.
The Uvongo siblings were among the top junior riders over the two days, with Amber placing second in the Under-12 girls road race on Saturday.
Older brother Cale, 13, is a seasoned rider despite his young age and his professional approach to the weekend’s showpiece saw him kick-off the year on a high.
He finished second in the Under-14 boys time trial on Saturday and went one better in the 60-kilometre road race on Sunday when he was crowned the KwaZulu-Natal Under-14 boys champion.
“I’m very happy with my performance and stoked to be KZN champion,” Cale told eHowz!t.
“I felt great on Saturday and decided to ride hard, but I preserved energy for the next day’s race.
“At the start of a race you always feel nervous, but once the racing started, I felt settled and got into a rhythm. Halfway through the race, there were two main breakaways that got a 15-second lead on our group.
“I didn’t panic as I’ve watched numerous races and we left them out to dry for about 20 minutes. Then the group worked together and we closed the gap and then the real racing started.
“Coming into the finish, I wanted the win so badly that I gave it my all and managed to hold on to the end and got it.
“I couldn’t believe my average race speed was 32km/h.”
A versatile rider, Cale has enjoyed success in both road and mountain biking events.
He’s earned provincial colours in both disciplines but prefers mountain biking as it’s “more adventurous.”
“Training for a road race on the roads at this point is quite difficult, so I prefer to train on my mountain bike and club rides,” he added.
Cale claimed his first KwaZulu-Natal road title four years ago and won the provincial cross-country mountain bike sprog boys series in 2013.
The Lindecke family spent 2014 in the United Kingdom, where Cale continued to produce impressive performances and finished 11th overall in the Notts and Derby League in his age group.
He regards his win on Sunday, however, as the most significant of his budding career to date.
“I feel it’s my best result so far as the racing is getting harder and more challenging,” he said.
Amber, who also prefers mountain biking, said she was inspired by her brother’s performance and hopes to post some good results off the beaten track this year.
Cale’s main goal is to add the KwaZulu-Natal mountain bike crown to his newly won provincial road title.
Fellow South Coast cyclist Nicholas de Bruin also enjoyed a highly successful weekend, finishing third in the time trial and winning his road race.