A pothole was the reason why three riders from the MTN-Energade men’s road cycling team yesterday ended up in hospital with broken bones.
It is debatable whether Jaco Venter, Dylan Girdlestone and Bradley Potgieter will recover in time to race in any of the last three big Classics of the season, namely Amashova, OFM and 94.7.
Venter broke his arm in three places. Girdlestone broke his shoulder bone and, as luck would have it, Potgieter injured the same ankle that was fractured in a car accident early this year.
Reinhardt Janse van Rensburg, who was also training with his teammates on the road just past the Hartbeeshoek Satellite Station west of Pretoria, said they were busy with a team motorpacing session when the accident happened.
“Jaco and I were riding next to one another, while Bradley and Dylan were just in front of us. Roughly estimated, we were doing about 80km/ph when Jaco hit the pothole.”
According to Janse van Rensburg, the moment the accident happened Venter’s bicycle shot up in the air. Moments later he totally lost control and crashed down at high speed.
When Ian Wilson, the driver of the Kombi that was used by the riders for their motorpacing, saw in his rearview mirror that Venter had crashed, he immediately braked.
“Unfortunately, Dylan and Bradley were looking backwards to see what had happened to Jaco and whether he was OK. They did not realize that the Kombi was slowing down and consequently they crashed into it at full speed.
“Dylan’s shoulder really looked bad. Just glancing at it I could see that the bone had broken right through.”
This accident means that MTN-Energade will be racing with only half a team in the Dome2Dome race in Johannesburg on Sunday (5 September).
The accident did not phase Janse van Rensburg. “Now I am really motivated to win. On Sunday I will not be racing for myself but for my injured teammates. I badly want to win the Dome2Dome for them. It would be the least I could do.”
“We share in the disappointment of Jaco, Dylan, and Bradley as they had high hopes for the remaining Classics this year. However, we wish them a speedy recovery and know that they will come back even more motivated than before,” says Bernard Pieters, seniors sponsorship manager at MTN South Africa.