4500 cycle for cancer

FIRST-TIME PARTICIPANTS: Members of the Medscheme development team from Soweto. Pic.Bruce Fraser. 4/08/08. © Sowetan.
FIRST-TIME PARTICIPANTS: Members of the Medscheme development team from Soweto. Pic.Bruce Fraser. 4/08/08. © Sowetan.

Bruce Fraser

Bruce Fraser

A record 4500 cyclists braved a chilly start on Saturday morning for the annual Cansa Cycle Challenge held at Sun City.

The 103km event took place over a fairly flat course, with the youngest participant this year aged just 11 years and the oldest 77.

"We attract a wide selection of riders," said event organiser Johann du Toit shortly before the gun went off to signal the start.

"An added attraction is that from next year we are confident the race can be used as a qualifier for the Argus Cycle Race in Cape Town.

"We've thought about increasing our numbers but have decided to limit it and rather attract a quality field.

"It also helps from an organisational point of view," said Du Toit.

Now into its 11th year, the race has generated just on R2 million for the Cancer Association of SA, which is used for various projects in North West.

Setting out for the first time on Saturday was a team from Soweto, the Medscheme development team.

One of its members, Kelvin Mhlanga, spoke shortly after completing the race.

"The conditions were ideal, with plenty of water spots scattered throughout the course.

"We had trained very hard for the race and as a team we are happy with how we did," said Mhlanga.

Cycling for only four years, Mhlanga, 16, trains four times a week plus races over weekends.

"I love my cycling. My dream is to be the first black person to win the Tour de France," he added.

The top three in the men's category were Christoff van Heerden, Malcolm Lange and Arran Brown in that order.

In the women's category it was Cashandra Slingerland, Chrissle Viljoen and Marissa van der Merwe.

To view a video of the event log on to www.sowetan.co.za

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