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Curro Mossel Bay learner to represent SA-cycling in Egypt

Mossel Bay's Linél Engelbrecht has been selected as a team member of Cycling South Africas' (CSA) national cycling team that will be competing in the 2021 Africa Continental Road and Track Championships hosted in Cairo, Egypt from 2 to 13 March.

It is an honour for the local whizz-kid, a Grade 11 learner at Curro Mossel Bay, to have been selected to represent South Africa. 

She has been included in the track team as a frontline endurance rider as well as a reserve rider for the road team.

In 2020, she successfully participated in several district, provincial and national road and mountain bike races, winning several championship titles.

During lockdown, she participated in Zwift e-Racing and dominated her age category in the racing platform as presented by Schools Cycling South Africa.

Covid-19 has scuppered the plans and dreams of many sports persons. CSA, envisaging the AFCON Champs and which has been postponed once before, provided riders with qualification races in November and December 2020. Linél did well in these, even though she sustained an injury that jeopardised her chances of participation.

Local Biokineticist Elsa van Velden has been working closely with her in her rehab and recovery process and the results have been remarkable.

Linél is back in training on a bike after a frustrating six-week lay-off, focusing on injury rehab only. Training for this event entails waking up at 04:30 in the morning, doing the road work. Then it is off to school, finishing homework and then into the gym for strength and core training.

Participation in this event and the honour to represent one's country is self funded, disappointingly. The costs for travelling, accommodation, the SA kit, team managers and participation is all paid by the selected cyclist.

South Africa really falls short in this department and this explains why SA loses talent to European countries. Costs of participation in the event have also risen due to the limited flight options to and from Egypt, due to Covid-19.