Despite being hampered by a broken rib, sprinter Reynard Butler feels he still has an important part to fill for the BCX team when the Emperors Palace Classic road race takes place in Johannesburg on Sunday.
The 28-year-old, who hails from East London but now lives in Honeydew in Johannesburg, is not yet back to full fitness after coming off his bike at the ill-fated Cape Town Cycle Tour last month.
Butler said he was over the pain caused by the injury, but was not yet fully fit, having only been on the bike for two weeks.
“Our focus will be to get them in the right position as the race reaches a climax in the closing stages,” he said.
Describing the 98km feature race as one of the “most prestigious” on the South African racing calendar, Butler said they were motivated to seek a place on the podium.
“It is a race we all look forward to and many of the riders will be gunning for the title after missing out on the Cape Town Cycle Tour.”
Butler is also looking forward to better things after a frustrating start to the year, with a number of setbacks keeping him from riding to his potential.
“There have been a variety of things which have just made it a difficult year so far, like getting a puncture at the wrong time and now this rib injury from the Cape Town Cycle Tour,” he said.
“Looking ahead I just want to regain full fitness and to push forward from there.”
He will be aiming to prove a point at events such as the Bestmed Jock Tour, the Amashova and 947 Cycle Challenge in the second half of the season.
Sunday’s feature race, which is preceded by a 48km road race, will round off the weekend’s activities at the Kempton Park casino. Other events include 25km and 50km mountain bike races on Saturday.