Current African road racing champion Lynette Burger is making no bones about her desire to win the 30-34 year age group women’s titles at the UCI World Cycling Tour Final in Pietermaritzburg from 23 to 26 August.
The 31-year old Boksburg-based racer, who has held national and continental titles in track and road racing, qualified strongly at last year’s 111km road race at the Msunduzi Road Challenge, but has been hampered by injury from a series of serious crashes over the last 18 months.
However, after a solid build-up to the UWCT Final, the Toyota Cycling SA Academy rider feels she can claim double gold this week. “My goal would be to win both the time trial and the road race,” said Burger. “I’ve worked very hard and believe that with the training that I have done in the last three months that it would be possible. Anything can happen on the day but I’m focused and ready for the challenge.”
For Burger, who will be racing in the very competitive 30-34 year age category, the prospect of winning a coveted UCI rainbow world champion jersey is a massive motivator.
“Everybody wants those stripes!” said Burger. “I have the RSA stripes and would love to add the UCI rainbow stripes to it. It is all about personal achievement, I might not be able to win the world champs on an elite level but there is nothing wrong with winning your age category at the UWCT Final.
“For me it’s about the goal you set and reaching it, if it’s an amateur race or pro race, it’s the time and effort you put in throughout and it does not mean if you are an amateur that you put in less time,” says Burger.
Burger added that the UWCT Final being two months earlier in the year than the qualifying event last year made it tougher to prepare for. After racing the qualifying event she has tried to replicate the route in her training in Gauteng.
Burger is the reigning African champion after winning the road race at the All African Games in Maputo last year, the third time that she has won a continental title. She was introduced to road cycling after a friend got her to a spinning class, which led to her first road race.
“My first race was somewhere in the West Rand where I did it on a mountain bike and got 3rd in the ladies, I was hooked straight away and got my first road bike, which led to many victories!”
Programme of Events – UCI World Cycling Tour Final 2012
• Thursday 23rd August 2012 – UWCT Time Trial Competition
• Saturday 25th August 2012 – UWCT Final 61km Race and UWCT Final 96km Race
• Sunday 26th August 2012 – UWCT 112km Race
More information can be found here.