Van Dyk closing in on Paralympic goals
2011 hand cycling road race world champion Ernst van Dyk is using the UCI Para-cycling World Cup series in Baie-Comeau, Canada as his final preparation for the Paralympic games in London next month.
"I selected to come here to test a new bike set-up on a course similar to what we are racing in London, under racing conditions," said Van Dyk.
"After we tested the Paralympic course at Brands Hatch at the end of June it was clear that the course requires a very specific bike setup in terms of gear selection, crank length, wheel choice and tyre selection.
"I've made all the adjustments I thought necessary and wanted to test them here, in Canada.
Van Dyk also explained that World Ranking points would determine the starting order in the Paralympics, adding importance to the event in Canada.
"It was also very important to earn some more points to improve my overall world ranking. The world rankings will determine the starting order at the Paralympics in the TT and after losing the bronze medal in the TT at the Beijing Paralympics by a mere second we have learnt how important the starting line up in the TT is, as the riders in the back get the time splits of the riders in front of them to pace off.
"The course in Baie-Comeau is the same course we raced on at the World Cup final in 2011 so it's also a good opportunity to compare how we have improved since last year. Unfortunately very few countries turned out for this event and in the H4 division, only Oscar (Oz) Sanchez (2011 TT world champion) and myself turned up. Conditions were cool and windy for our TT.
"I had to start first with nobody in front of me with Oz going one minute after me. I've been steadily improving my TT in the last couple of months and at the last world cup in Spain, only 36 seconds separated me from world champ Oz.
"With 9 weeks to go topped up with a training camp in Switzerland before heading to London, things are looking very good and I should arrive in London in the best possible form."
Results Men's H4 Time Trial July 6:
1. Oscar Sanchez (USA) 00:27:47.21
2. Ernst van Dyk (RSA) 00:28:21.86 +34.65.