The field for the women’s race at the aQuellé Tour Durban on Sunday 28 November continues to get stronger as entries arrive at the race HQ, and adding intrigue to the early morning elite race is the full women’s team from Team Customized Cycling Bioplus.
Having bagged two top-five places in the recent Cape Town Cycle Tour, the team is poised to be one of the dominant forces in the women’s race, particularly with two team member living and training in Durban.
S’annara Grove and junior Ainsli de Beer bring the local knowledge and their long hours training in Durban and on the M4 in particular to the team and will be a strong asset on raceday.
With strength in climbing and sprinting in the form of Kelsey van Schoor, Melissa Kritzinger and Lizanne Louw, the team has the ability to challenge for the women’s title, whether it is decided by a breakaway, as Cashandra Slingerland did last time out, or in the heat of the end-sprint.
With a string of wins this season behind her and a threatening fourth place finish in the recent Cape Town Cycle Tour to her credit Kelsey van Schoor says the aQuellé Tour Durban presents an opportunity for the team to finish what has already been a very successfully year on a high note.
“Durban will be our last race of the season and as a team we really want to end it off on a high,” said van Schoor.
“We know that there will a very strong women’s field, which will make the racing exciting. You have to watch the favourites really closely throughout the race,” she said.
As a strong climber and with sprinter Grove ready to be taken to the line if it comes down to a bunch sprint, van Schoor says the team will go into the race with a plan, but ready to adapt.
“Nothing ever goes 100% according to plan in a race!” she said. “We chat during the race and adjust our plans as we need to.
“We are a big happy family as a team and with a major race every weekend, it is a very busy end to the season.
“Most of all we are all just happy to be back racing again,” said van Schoor.
For de Beer the race comes at a challenging time, with a busy race schedule coupled with her matric exams.
“I know the M4 route well, and for me, this will be a good chance to test out my body over the 90km,” she said.