2 September 2013
South African Paralympic star Ernst van Dyk raced his way to two silver medals at the 2013 Para-cycling Road World Championships, which took place in the Canadian town of Baie-Comeau from 29 August to 1 September.
Competing in the hand cycling H4 time trial, he pushed Italy’s Alessandro Zanardi and his custom-made bike all the way before eventually settling for silver.
Van Dyk trailed by nine seconds at the first interval and ultimately finished just over 14 seconds back, but a comfortable minute and 15 seconds clear of Tim de Vries of The Netherlands, who picked up the bronze medal.
‘A huge improvement’
“This is a huge improvement from the London Paralympics, where I was fifth and one minute and 40 seconds behind him [Zanardi],” Van Dyk told the Road to Rio website.
“He looked a bit shaken. I was only nine seconds behind him after the first lap, but he started after me, so his team was feeding him my splits so he could control the damage. Watch me next year!”
In the road race, Van Dyk and Zanardi again battled it out for the gold medal, and although the South African was edged out in a sprint for the finishing line, both men finished in the same time of 02:03:32. Dutch competitor Jetze Plat took third, three seconds behind the leading pair.
A fine effort
Reclining hand-cyclist Stuart McCreadie produced a fine effort to finish an impressive fourth in the time trial. He repeated that finish in the road race with an excellent performance.
He was part of a five-man breakaway, but had his hopes of a higher finish dashed when his chain broke.
Yusthin Lintnaar and George Rex contested the tricycle time trial, with Lintnaar finishing sixth in the T1 class and Rex, in his first season of international racing, taking third place in the T2 class.
In second place
He was in second place at the midway point of the race, just behind Spain’s defending world champion Aitor Oroza Flores. Rex, though, lost some steam in the more technical areas of the route and fell back to third, crossing the line 37 seconds adrift of Flores.
Lintnaar found the pace tough to handle in the H2 road race and finished in ninth place, almost seven minutes behind the winner, David Stone of Great Britain.
Rex was third in a three-man field in the T1 road race, but only a minute and 18 seconds down on Aitor Oroza Flores, who captured gold again. Rex led for much of the way and attacked on the climbs, but after an early attack on the last lap he was eventually dropped by Flores and the Czech Republic’s Jiri Hindr.
Justine Asher was the sole entrant in the women’s H1 time trial and thus walked away a winner in 30:02.07. Asher was again the only entrant in the H1 road race and completed the event in 01:20:45.
Roxy Burns, who usually competes on the track, managed seventh place in the women’s C4 Time Trial to round off a very successful season on the road.