By Quintin van Jaarsveld
The Uvongo-based Lindecke family are relishing the prospect of cycling together and alongside some top stars in the Hibiscus Coast Classic in Margate on Saturday.
The South Coast, famous for producing South African mountain biking legend Burry Stander, will this weekend play host to several of the continent’s elite road cyclists who harbour hopes of qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
These big-name cyclists and their teams will be in pursuit of valuable UCI points in UCI Category 1.2 (international calibre) road races on Friday and Sunday following the KwaZulu-Natal Autumn Series-opening Freedom Day Classic held in Pietermaritzburg on Monday.
Sandwiched between Friday’s Mayday Classic from Pietermaritzburg to Margate and Sunday’s Hibiscus Coast Challenge in Margate is the Hibiscus Coast Classic, the core of the inaugural three-race Hibiscus Coast Municipality Cycling Festival.
The race, which will have full road closure and carries a total prize purse of R45000, is a win-win event for casual and elite-level cyclists.
While it’ll be a golden opportunity for local cyclists to impress top teams, it’ll also be a dress rehearsal of sorts for the elite and Under-23 cyclists who opt to ride as it’ll be on the same route that’ll be used for the Category 1.2 event on Sunday.
Brian Lindecke, his wife Julie and their children Cale and Amber are avid cyclists and will all be participating in Saturday’s event.
Brian will feature in the 80km race, Julie in the 40km open seeded race, Cale in the 40km (Under-14 boys) race and Amber in the 10km (Under-12 girls) race.
Brian and Julie moved to the South Coast from Gauteng over 15 years ago and the family fell in love with cycling when they attended their first Bundu Bashers Mountain Bike Club ride in 2009.
“Soon the bug bit and it became a regular thing for families to meet on a Saturday morning and ride from Dura-Cycles,” Brian told eHowzit.
“We enjoyed that we could interact and have fun as a family and at the same time see different parts of the country while racing.
“It wasn’t long after that that we noticed that Cale was really good at cycling and would have the spirit of a lion when racing.”
Cale is indeed a talented cyclist and has established himself as one of the top young local prospects in recent years.
He is the reigning KwaZulu-Natal Under-14 boys champion, a title he earned at the provincial time trial championships in Ladysmith in January.
He claimed his first KwaZulu-Natal road title four years ago and won the provincial cross-country mountain bike sprog boys series in 2013.
The 13-year-old was in the lead group in the Tour Durban race this past Sunday with under a kilometre to go before another rider crashed into him from behind.
The impact broke his derailleur and took him out of contention for the overall title.
He hopes to have a strong and incident-free race on Saturday’s but isn’t putting too much pressure on himself.
“I’m really looking forward to the race,” he said.
“I’m pretty complacent over all the hype. I like going to the beach and bodyboarding to take my mind off the pressure.
“There’s definitely an added buzz this week, but I’ll just go out and enjoy it.”
Amber is also a promising young cyclist and finished second in the Under-12 girls road race at the provincial time trial championships.
Brian concluded by praising the organisers for bringing these much anticipated events to the South Coast.
“We as a family are so happy that there are so many cycling events that are starting to be hosted down on the South Coast.
“Events like these create an awareness and hopefully this weekend’s race attracts a lot of kids.”
A change to the original route will see cyclists tackle a scenic 15.5km loop through the Hibiscus Coast Municipality region with the number of laps dependent on the route distance entered.
Racing in the various categories starts at 10am until approximately 3.30pm.
There will be full road closure through the residential areas and traffic officials will be on hand to assist residents in moving to and from their homes.
Proceeds from the race will go towards donating 50 single speed road bicycles with durable tyres suitable for on-road and gravel travel valued at R100000 for local community development as part of the KwaZulu-Natal Cycling Development Programme.
Hibiscus Coast Classic Route Info:
- Start – Margate Fishing Pier
- 60m from start turn left into Post Office Lane
- 100m turn right into Marine Drive
- At 1.1Km right onto R620 (also called Marine Drive)
- At 2.7Km turn left into Seaslopes Road (Seaslopes become Wingate higher up)
- At 6.6Km (T-Junction) turn left onto the P200
- At 11Km turn left into Alford Road
- At 12.5Km turn left onto R620
- At 13.6Km turn right into Marine Drive
- At 14.5Km turn right into Finnis Road
- Finish at 15.5Km
Online pre-entries are closed, but late entries will be accepted at registration, with a nominal charge of R50 in addition to the entry fee.
For manual entries, click here to download the entry form – Hibiscus Coast Classic Entry Form