Springbok legend Joel Stransky and former professional cyclist Andrew Mclean are still determined to take part in the PwC Great Zuurberg Trek mountain bike race outside Port Elizabeth in May despite both breaking bones in two separate incidents.
Stransky was hospitalised with a broken rib and punctured lung after crashing during the prologue of the Cape Epic on Sunday. His Zuurberg race partner, who was also planning on riding in the Epic, failed to make it to the start.
Mclean is currently nursing a broken collar bone after a fall while training for the 14th edition of the event, forcing him to withdraw his entry.
While the break is healing at a slower rate than usual, Mclean confirmed that he still plans on entering the Great Zuurberg Trek.
“I’m definitely planning on participating, it is one of my favourite races and I should be back on my bike in a week or two.”
“We finished in a good position last year, which wasn’t too bad for two old men and this year we’ll aim to do the same, if not better.
“Joel and myself are very competitive and we both relish the fact that, in mountain biking, we are able to compete with some of the younger riders.”
He said he had not even considered the fact that Stransky might be unable to ride with him in the Eastern Cape event in which they placed third last year.
“Joel would kill me if he thought I was considering trading him in for a younger model,” joked Mclean.
He added that he was “very confident” they would arrive at the Sundays River Valley and Addo Elephant National Park more than ready for the tough three-day race.
“Knowing Joel, I’d imagine that the minute he can get on the indoor trainer he’ll be back into training and we should be there. We may not be in tip-top condition, but we’ll certainly be good enough to race.”
The PwC Great Zuurberg Trek, which is based at the Zuurberg Mountain Village outside Port Elizabeth, takes place from May 26 to 28.
Visit www.greatzuurbergtrek.co.za for more information.