Defending Champ Joanna van de Winkel Aiming for Another Durban Double

Joanna van de Winkel is aiming for her third win in a row in the aQuellé Tour Durban. File Photo: Anthony Grote / Gameplan Media

Joanna van de Winkel will be aiming for a repeat double when she tackles two events at the aQuellé Tour weekend – but she is still not yet sure which two races she will take part in Durban on 20 and 21 April, 2024.

The introduction of a gravel race at this year’s event for the first time, means the versatile rider has to make a decision regarding that or the mountain bike event for Saturday’s off-road action. There is, however, no doubt the 2023 and 2024 road race winner will be aiming for three wins in a row at Sunday’s tar event.

“I still have to choose between the mountain bike and gravel. I might still choose the gravel on Saturday and obviously will be in the road race on Sunday.”

The talented veteran of the South African road racing scene is however sure she want to step onto the top of the podium twice over the weekend: “I am certainly going to try to win two in the weekend again.”

“I think the mountain bike is always a little bit more challenging for me – depending if Francis (Janse van Rensburg) or Hayley Smith or Tyler Jacobs enter, because my technical skills aren’t as good as them. I’ve put in the training for the road racing, so I’m hoping that will hold me in good stead to at least be strong enough, and the MTB race is not a super technical course.”

aQuellé Durban Defending champion, Joanna van de Winkel

“I’m excited to do a race in my home territory again and I’m going to obviously try to win the road race on Sunday. I don’t know at this stage if I will have any team mates with me yet, for the road,” said the Cycle Nation team rider.

For the 2012 Olympic team member, the beauty of the route and the atmosphere of the weekend make the event a must-do for her and her family.

“It’s a beautiful race along the coast of KZN, so I really enjoy that route,” said Van de Winkel. “It’s also nice to get the roads to ourselves with full road closure for a change.

“But it is also a nice family weekend for us. My kids will race as well on the Saturday and then I’ll race on Saturday and Sunday – it is really a whole family event with all of us racing: my husband, my kids and myself.”

The event takes place on the weekend of  20-21April, with race registration 19 and 20 April at Cornubia Mall.

The aQuellé Tour Durban MTB powered by Cycle Lab (1 gravel and 3 x mountainbike races) and aQuellé Tour Durban Trail (3 x trail runs) are all on Saturday 20 April near Cornubia Mall. The three road races on Sunday 21 April will be held predominantly on the M4 between Moses Mabhida Stadium and Mdloti.

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Original Copy: Gameplan Media, with editing by gsport

Main Photo Caption: Joanna van de Winkel is aiming for her third win in a row in the aQuellé Tour Durban. File Photo: Anthony Grote / Gameplan Media

Photo Caption: 2023 winner Joanna van de Winkel (centre) is flanked by second-placed Bridget Theunissen (left) and third-placed Errin Mackridge on the podium of the aQuellé Tour Durban MTB powered by Cycle Lab last year. File Photo: Rogan Ward / Gameplan Media

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