Former Mfuleni resident, Glen Witbooi, was among the 31 000 cyclists who took part in this year’s Cape Town Cycle Tour, which started at the Civic Centre on Sunday morning.
The 109km race saw 20-year-old Travis Barret crowned the men’s title champ as he nudged out former winner, Clint Hendricks by the width of a tyre to finish in 2 hours, 30 minutes and 4 seconds.
Meanwhile, Cherise Willeit won her fifth Cape Town Cycle Tour women’s title in 2 hours, 7 minutes and 48 seconds, ahead of Frances Janse van Rensburg and Hayley Preen in third.
The excited Witbooi, who now stays in Table View, completed his first cycle tour in 4 hours and 29 minutes after a couple of colleagues recommended the race, saying he would have fun.
Witbooi said the amazing feeling came after the finish line, and, he cannot wait for next year’s race.
“I was wondering if I would have enough energy and legs to finish and also I wanted to do my best to take in the atmosphere. I haven’t cycled before and I did one race, the Tour de PPA – Pedal Power Association, and two practise rides on my own.
“I spoke a lot to our local cycle shop on what I needed to eat and drink during the race.
“Most of the preparations involved mental stamina and road running,” he said.
A former Queen’s College Boys’ High School pupil, in Queenstown, Eastern Cape, Witbooi, said he intensified his preparations in February ahead of the race.
He said, it was one of the best events he has been involved in, as it was well organised, and the buzz around the race was amazing.
During my high school days, I stayed at the hostel and played hockey and cricket.
“I completed my varsity at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) Cape Town campus.
“I was raised by a single mother with three brothers. About three years ago I married the love of my life, Louise, and now we stay in Table View,” he said.
Witbooi said his philosophy, adopted during his running days, is “for every uphill, there is a downhill”.
“When things are not going your way in life, remember those good days are around the corner, keep pushing and don’t give up. It’s important to have low moments in life because you appreciate the high moments,” he said.