With four new signings and an additional supporting sponsor, Team Bestmed-ASG is preparing to dominate South African women’s cycling in 2015. According to team manager Owen Botha, his 11-rider squad will be aiming for all-round competitiveness on the national track, mountain bike and road racing circuits. “The road champs in February will be our first major event of the year and we are hoping for at least six medals there.”
In line with the team’s stated focus on developing young talent, rising stars Azulde Britz and Ashleigh Parsons have joined the roster and will assist Jessica Brown in presenting a three-pronged attack in the under-16 category. Britz is a product of the ASG mountain bike academy, while Parsons claimed four gold medals at last year’s SA track champs – breaking both the pursuit and time-trial records. Zimbabwe’s Greer Wynn adds international firepower to the elite line-up while national road champion (30 to 34 years) Anli Smith strengthens the veteran category.
Stalwart veteran cyclist Desray Sebregts will be the designated team leader. Aside from Brown and Sebregts, the returning riders will be mountain biker Zandile Ndhlovu, elites Charlene du Preez and Chante van der Merwe, and former SA under-23 triathlon champion Lauren Dance. Versatile Lynette Benson, who notched up four under-16 national titles across the road and mountain biking disciplines last year, will be the sole junior competitor.
Botha said the added support of new subsidiary sponsor Multihull Group would allow the team more opportunities to compete at races across the country. “Our aim is to enable the girls to achieve their personal ambitions. “Youngsters like Azulde, Jessica, Ashleigh and Lynette are great talents. They need to experience international competition in the near future and we will do our best to assist them.” Multihull Group managing director Paul Hough said the yacht manufacturer looked forward to assisting with infrastructure and rider development. “Currently, the most emphasis nationally is on men’s cycling and we thought it opportune to get involved on the women’s side.
“Team Bestmed-ASG is well represented across all age groups from juniors through to vets and very involved in developing new riders.” Aside from the national champs, Botha said the team’s goal races would include sponsor Bestmed’s Tour de Boland, Jock Cycle Classique, Lost City Classic and Satellite Classic. Other subsidiary sponsors are nutrition and health company Biogen, vehicle supplier Jaguar SA, lubricant manufacturer Fuchs, Dark Horse Wheels and Continental Tyres.