After soloing to his first major win at the Daily Dispatch Cycle Tour in East London earlier this month, Bradley Gouveris is looking to take his good form into the 2017 season.
The matriculant from Port Elizabeth’s victory on a wet day was achieved in some style after going clear on the final climb of the 102km classic.
Although it was a breakthrough performance, he said he had been plotting victory throughout the season.
“It was one of three races I’d identified to do well in this year,” said the 18-year-old, who admitted he wasn’t sure what he was in for on the day.
“Racing in East London was a bit foreign for me, so I didn’t really know the competition I was up against.
“But everything went right for me on the day, so I’m happy to have pulled it off.”
Despite still being at school, Gouveris has become an integral cog in NMMU’s Bestmed-Shukuma-Madibaz Cycling Club after some stand-out performances this year.
“Being with the Madibaz has really helped me,” he said, singling out the coaching aspect as well as the opportunity to race alongside more experienced team-mates.
“They’ve given me loads of support and my cycling has improved, so I’m definitely staying with them for 2017.”
With his brother Kellan having represented South Africa on the track at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow two years ago, he has some impressive pedigree to call on.
“My dad also cycles and he encouraged us both to ride from a young age,” said Gouveris, who will be focusing on the road instead.
“Watching my brother perform so well has inspired me. I look up to him as a hero and he’s one of my biggest motivations.”
Even though the season has hardly finished, he is already focusing on next year.
“I’d like to do well in the national road champs and, if possible, at SA track champs. But I’ve also set my sights on the Cape Town Cycle Tour and Knysna Cycle Tour.”
If he could maintain his form throughout, he said a good ride in the 947 Cycle Challenge in Joburg to close out next season would be the long-term objective.
“But, for now, I’m focusing on the next few months. You never know if your form will desert you during the year, so I don’t want to get ahead of myself.”