- By Kirsten Curtis
The SA cycling team headed to the Olympics was announced yesterday. While it is a team well deserving of their selection, two names in particular have surfaced on the social networks questioning why they were excluded.
South Africa only qualified one road cyclist in the men’s event, so selection was always going to be tough. Daryl Impey’s performances of late have no doubt earned him the spot in the Olympic team but it is disappointing that the SA Champ, Robbie Hunter won’t be in London. Of course, great pity we only qualified one rider in the first place. Imagine if we could have had Impey leading out Hunter? Hunter was quick to congratulate Impey on his selection, tweeting “Happy for @darylimpey going to the London Olympics for South Africa..”
The other name glaringly obvious by omission is that of Cherise Taylor who was in the running to represent SA in the ladies road race. Ranked 98 on the UCI world rankings, she is the second highest ranked South African (behind Ashleigh Moolman Pasio, currently ranked 23) with the next being Jo van de Winkel at 138. The third of the women selected was Robyn de Groot who is currently ranked 323.
The final qualifying race for the ladies to get a third spot at the Games was the Tour de Free State which Taylor had to miss due to her wedding to Burry Stander taking place that same weekend. Could this be the reason for her omission from the team? A report in Die Burger yesterday suggests as much.
Cherise tweeted soon after the announcement was made: “Sad that the requirements that were set out to qualify for olympics meant nothing in the end. I hate politics!”
Bicycling has attempted to get hold of the Cycling South Africa Road Director for comment on the team selection without success to date.
What are your thoughts? Should Hunter and Stander have been included in the team? Anyone else you feel should have been headed to London? Comment below.