South African U23 road champion Louis Visser has had a successful start to the season and he is keen to continue where he left off when racing resumes once the coronavirus restrictions are lifted.
The 21-year-old, who placed fourth in the Cape Town Cycle Tour earlier this month, said he had finished in the top 10 in basically all his races, including several podiums and a few wins.
“So I have been able to show the jersey off a few times, but I think there’s going to be a long period without any racing.
“That is definitely not ideal, but we have much bigger problems going on at the moment so I won’t complain too much.”
Visser said the team did not really know what they were training for at this stage as all upcoming races had been cancelled.
“Once we have a better idea of what is going on and when the lockdown is lifted we can start focusing on races again. But for now we can just try to build form and spend time with the family.”
The TEG Procycling rider from Oudtshoorn was around 13 years old when he started to ride his bike. He had no training structure, but just loved to get out and about.
“It began when my dad started cycling and I also wanted to try it out. I received a lot of support from our local club and that helped a lot.”
He said he had always loved the sport, but it did not get serious until he was about 16 when he started getting better and had a coach to assist him.
“It took a while to get where I am at the moment and I’m definitely on the best form I’ve ever been, but still far from where I can be.
“I’ve become a lot more confident on the bike and that helps a lot.”
In his career thus far he has faced several challenges, but has also enjoyed many highlights.
“Getting to Europe at a young age was very difficult, but with the support of my family and friends I got there.
“I think also I was thrown into the deep end of the hardest U23 category in the world and that is racing in Italy. But I learnt a lot and became way better by just training hard, staying focused and keeping supportive people around me.
“The best parts must be the wins and most of all winning the U23 national jersey. I love just getting out with my friends, training hard and getting to go for a coffee ride at the end of the week.”
He said down the years cycling had taught him to never give up.
“Even when you feel you’ve given it your all, you still have something. It’s always mind over matter.
“Work hard and stay focused. It’s also really important to have a good support structure with you because those are the people who will support you when it gets tough. But never stop working for what you want,” said Visser, whose dream goal is to be a world champion.