South African teenage cyclist Azulde Britz says she gained valuable experience during her stint this year as a guest rider with the Demacon professional team.
“My experience doing these races has been incredible. It’s been super tough but I’ve learnt a lot,” said Britz.
She added that she had gained more knowledge on how to ride together with a team through having various roles, from closing breaks to being in a break, and each came with its own challenges.
Britz, who made her national debut in the World Road Championships in Austria last month, said she had learnt to enjoy racing her bike more, how to be more patient, to ride as a team and to read a race better.
“I’ve also become more aware of how to be 100% committed to an action or plan.”
She added that she would love to learn more. “There are too many things to name, but most importantly how to ride for a team and be one with them.”
Britz felt she had been able to bring her own experience to the squad, which comprised Lynette Pieterse, Heidi Dalton, Carla Oberholzer and Kim le Court.
“Even though it’s not much compared to the other riders I feel it still contributes. I hope to bring more success to them.”
She added that she would like to ride for Demacon on a more full-time basis and felt they were an “incredible team” who provided “such a family-like atmosphere” where one could learn and thrive.
“I hope riding for them will take me to new heights,” said Britz, whose preference is for road cycling and who will carry that focus through to next year.
The Positive Sports Solutions ambassador said her highlights this year included racing in Europe, riding for Team Rytger [a Danish outfit], being selected for the world champs and “most definitely being able to ride with the Demacon girls”.
Among her main goals for next year would be to get in as much racing practice as possible.
“Other goals include the national road champs, getting more European experience and making a contribution to a team.
“In addition I’ll be studying psychology at Tuks, so 2019 will be an exciting year.”