Previous South African triathlon greats. Follow up on Club Mykonos post below

Jason Bailey from Cape Town sent these pics from the early 90s- complete with top 5 results…

kevin-richards.jpg

Kevin Richards is probably the athlete who had the biggest influence on my racing career. When I finished high school in 1991 he invited me to go race in France with him. (In a small town in the South West called Cahors) It was amazing, training and racing with Kevin, being a pro, the racing and living in the very foreign country. I was a really protected, ignorant young boy from Apartheid South Africa- could hardy speak English or boil an egg. To to laundry I filled the bathtub with water and walked on my clothes till its all nice & grey. Once I washed my bike in the shower and Kevin almost kicked my ass.

Kevin swam on the USA Scholarship programme after high school and after a few years in triathlon was the no 1 athlete in South Africa about 3 years in a row. He also lived and raced with the up and coming Simon Lessing for a few years prior and had great Simon Lessing and Mandy Dean stories. He was also famous for his no nonsense approach to equipment. He rode that black steel Lejeune frame with Shimano 105 parts for as long as I knew him. Kev, do you still have it? Also note the Jet Stream drinking system behind the seat post. It was a rubber football bladder inside a neon coloured neoprene bag fixed behind the seat. A tube would bring the spout to the handlebars, you’d bite on the nozzle and high pressure water would squirt into your mouth. Before the race you had to pump your drink into this bladder with a special pump which used to make this cheee cheee cheee sound. Of course the nozzle often flew off and your drink would go everywhere.

In South Africa he was affectionately known as “Bergie”, which refers to the bums who live in Table Mountain around Cape Town. Of course money was never a problem- there was none!- and Kevin could sleep anywhere and live on fresh air. Thats the culture I was weaned into and I think thats why the Yanks started calling me Caveman. I lived for free in a basement whose door couldnt close and traveled to races with baked potatoes in my pockets.

jaco-hanele.jpg

Jaco Loots and Hannele Steyn won the SA Champs at Club Mykonos in 1991. It was a super windy day- Kevin had a 4 min lead off the bike but blew up and ended up walking. Jaco also raced in France with us and was a really strong cyclist- he later raced for the town of Carcassonne. Hannele turned to MTB racing.

This race (1991 SA Champs) was probably my biggest break through. At 16, I missed a few days from high school, and placed 3rd in the senior race. After that, I couldnt concentrate much on school work…

1994podium.jpg

Thats me on the top step. My first “big” win racing with the big boys.

1994. This was the inaugural All Africa Champs in Gordons Bay.  Jaco Loots and I sprinted for 1st, and Kevin finished 3rd. 2km from the end the 3 of us were running shoulder to shoulder- all wearing the same provincial kit EP Tri (Eastern Province) That was fun. I stepped on a sea urchin during the low tide swim, and had to dig for the spines afterward.

I cant remember the name of those ugly sunglasses. The Oakley Frogskins just came out in outrageous lumo colours. I couldnt afford Oakleys , hence the cheap look a likes.

Something which hugely impressed me was THAT bottle of champagne. It was huge and the bottle empty was worth R800. ($30) (Probably more than the prize money) So I was told we had to give the bottle back before the end of the party. I tried to pop the cork and spray the champagne, but the bottle was so heavy Kevin had to help me shake it. Of course the EP boys gave the drinking a good go. (we were a formidable team back then) One would hold the bottom of the bottle and the drinker would crouch down to tilt the neck. Off course they were held down by “friends” and spillage was in the order of the day.  We tried our best to empty that bottle, but couldnt- so we poured the last of it in an ice bucket for the waiters to take home…

Good memories…

From left to right: Donovan van Gelder, Micheal Daley, Harald Zumpt, Kevin R, me, Jaco,Chad Gordon, Trevor Seinen and Mark Marabini from Zimbabwe.

Comments

Conrad Stoltz Xterra Triathlon World Champion » Champions’ training. Different strokes for different folks… 31-08-2009, 21:21

[…] my years in France, I trained like the French. (and Kevin Richards) Not very scientific, more touchy feelly, with a strong belief in ancient cycling tradition. Spin a […]

Reply
andrewgowans 06-06-2009, 23:42

Thanks for the post. So cool to see the old photos. Kevin was my housemate when we both just started doing triathlons. I think the first races we did were from the Pirates Surf Lifesaving club in Durban. In those days it didn’t matter if there was an 8 foot ground swell smashing into the beach the race was still on. Fun times.

Reply

Sponsors

Sponsors_2015_2nd

Archives

Story Time

Cavegirl on the way!!!

Cavegirl on the way!!!
Liezel and I are happy to announce our baby girl on the way! We are 23 weeks in, #PrincessHotstuff is fit and trim, and for me, time is not moving fast enough!  Due date 15-5-15. Suuuuper excited prix viagra en pharmacie! With these genes, she’ll be shooting hoops while wheelie-ing at the age of 3. […]
Read it...

Being the Caveman is hard work- have been busy…

Being the Caveman is hard work- have been busy…
As you all know, its easy to overindulge and pack on the pounds during the festive season, so Cross Training is a key ingredient to keeping the Caveman fit and flexable. Gotta keep on top of skills training too. Breakfast sure wasnt pretty. But its all part of the food chain… Like I said, being […]
Read it...

Caveman wins in mountain region of Scanno at XTERRA Italy

Caveman wins in mountain region of Scanno at XTERRA Italy
XTERRA Italy has the most amazing course! Parts through the old mountain town of Scanno. To the tune of "eye of the tiger" (thanks DJ Jack!) Caveman wins XTERRA Italy by 4 minutes. XTERRA Italy made is debut in the idyllic mountain town of Scanno, in the province of Abruzzo. In terms of the culture […]
Read it...

Caveman’s specialized equipment choices in quest for 7th World title

Caveman’s specialized equipment choices in quest for 7th World title
#aeroiseverything #soisfattyres #dittohorsepower ITU Cross Triathlon Worlds 2013 Long version Cross Tri Worlds Highlights. (Short version- 2.40) Racing through the dunes, stairs and sidewalks of Holland proved a fertile ground for innovative equipment choices.  From the video you can get a feel for the course- but the real test was the long sections of deep, […]
Read it...

a Caveman car for a Caveman situation…

a Caveman car for a Caveman situation…
Caveman’s Stellenbosch Kelfords Ford Fietsta Ambiente 1.4 [Open letter to friend and owner of Kelfords Ford and Mazda in Somerset West, South Africa] Dear Tristan, Thank you very much for the use of your wonderful little Ford Fiesta. We love the fuel economy, (5.9L per 100km) the nippy handling, the voice activated, hands free phone […]
Read it...

Cheers to a remarkable 2012

Cheers to a remarkable 2012
18 races, 1 World Title (ITU Cross Tri), my 10th XTERRA USA Series title, 10 victories, 16 podiums and many many special memories. My sporting highlight was winning my 2nd ITU Cross Triathlon World Title in Pelham Alabama, USA. a Personal highlight was sharing the entire year and all the remarkable experiences with my gorgeous […]
Read it...
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5