Rohan du Plooy of the Pro-Touch Continental team has won Stage 5 of the Mpumalanga Cycle Tour.
The stage covered a distance of more than 129 kilometres from White River to Matsulu, Mara and back to White River.
The Department of Sport in the Province wants to see more cyclists from formerly marginalised communities taking part in the event.
The Mpumalanga Cycle Tour is known for producing good young talent. The pride of the province, Willie Smit, is the latest cyclist who graduated from the annual tour to the global stage.
Cycling, however, is an expensive sport. The necessities, such as the bicycles and riding kit, do not come cheap and that is the stumbling block for riders from formerly marginalised communities.
“We want to change the colour because it looks like it’s an all-white sport. We want to see more young people joining in, but the issue of resources is hindering them. We want to take other departments on board, also engage them to put in something because us, as the Department of Sport, we are the least funded department. We won’t be able on our own,” says Mpumalanga MEC for Sports and Recreation, Thandi Shongwe.
Since the start of this edition last Friday, the cyclists have already covered a distance of over 500 kilometres.
In Stage 5, two cyclists broke away from the peleton just before reaching the first King of the Mountains and water point on top of Boulders on the east of Mbombela.
However, the peleton caught up with them at Crocodile Valley. That was when Rohan du Plooy broke away and from there onwards, the 24-year-old did not look back and held on to his lead up to the finish line.
“My best ability was to go all out. I can’t thank my team enough. They placed me in a very good situation on the road. And pro-touch continental and supporters for giving me an opportunity this year to just race my bike and enjoy it,” says Pro-Touch Continental, Rohan Du Plooy.
Stage 6 will be a 97-kilometre trek from the Mbombela Stadium, passing through the Barberton Nature Reserve, on the way to Manzana – formerly known as Badplaas.