SA’s JEAN SPIES NOW RANKED 2ND IN THE WORLD
The latest UCI (Union Cycliste International) world rankings show Jean Spies to be ranked in 2nd in the world for the 1km time trial, (affectionally called the Kilo). Known as the race of truth, as it is the rider versus the clock for one kilometer. Spies admits he loves to hate it and hates to love it, but agrees it is one of his strongest events. Not only has his 1km TT improved in world rankings but Spies is also now ranked 15th and 28th in the kierin and sprint respectively.
These results are a high after what has been a relatively low start to the season. Spies has had some bad luck, with his racing bicycle stolen, crashing and having surgery all within a few weeks of the other. It didn’t stop this determined young man, he managed to raise the funds for a new bicycle and headed off to the USA, Ireland and Italy to compete. The results he attained are the crucial factors that gave him these rankings. A third place in America in the 1km TT by 0.2 seconds behind the world record holder, Francois Pervis, proved that Spies was once again on the upwards trajectory.
Spies is a privately funded athlete, travelling the world competing in the events that make up the UCI qualification criteria for the Olympic games in Tokyo next year August. As we understand these rankings will go towards qualifying South Africa for a space in the sprint events at the Olympics. As current African and National champion in all three disciplines, it is hoped that Spies will be the selected rider to fill this space, when the time comes.
“Second in the world, wow!” Spies said shaking his head with a smile. “It has come as a nice surprise, especially considering how difficult the year has been.”
Spies will be focusing on the World Cup season starting in November. “I am lucky to have enough points right now to qualify for the World Cups, which means, I can do a focused three-month training block in preparation for them,” explained Spies as he headed out for another tough gym session.
2nd – 1KM Time Trial
15th – Kierin
28th – Sprint
Images credit : Drew Kaplin Photography