Spies on Track for 2020
Jean Spies has just finished a tour of the world from Glasgow in the U.K. to Hong Kong and finally New Zealand, to compete in three UCI Track World Cup events in his quest earn much needed UCI points and to comply with the Olympic qualification criteria.
The Glasgow World Cup was a tough event, as every country was represented and all were competing for the much sought after points. Jeans results were not up to his high standard so he re-grouped and moved his focus to the next World Cup in Hong Kong.
Although he was battling illness, Spies excelled in Hong Kong in the same world class environment as Glasgow. A gutsy move off the front with two laps to go in the keirin saw Spies lunge for the line. It was all or nothing as coming 2nd in that heat didn’t give him a pass to the semi-finals. Averaging out at over 72kmph for the last 500m, Spies said “I am pleased with how the racing went. I always hope for better, but after that result I can see I am improving and gaining confidence racing at those speeds.”
Cambridge in New Zealand was the final stop for Spies in his plan to compete in at least three UCI World Cups Events. A smooth hard track and decent racing conditions set the stage for fast racing.
Racing at speeds up to 75kmph and although not quite managing a top 20 in the kierin, he did manage to set his fastest 200m time since July 2018. “The results unfortunately don’t show it, but this was perhaps my best world Cup. I raced with more confidence than in the last two and felt more comfortable racing at this level and at those speeds.” Spies said with a smile. “Recording my fastest 200m time since last year July is a real bonus. It shows there is progression.”
These three events are part of the final five races Spies needed to compete in maintain his qualification process to Tokyo 2020. “It has been a steep learning curve for both of us,” Brigitte Mileson (Spies’ manager) said. “We had to make sure we got to every event, not only participate but to gain results. These World Cups show how much Jean has improved since we started this journey.”
The next two vital events on Spies’ calendar are:
– Continental African Track championships – Cairo – January 2020
– UCI World Track Championships – Berlin –February 2020.
“Competing in the Olympics has been a dream of mine since I was young. This journey so far has been hugely rewarding but also hugely challenging. There are days when I am not sure where the next cent will come from and then there days like in Hong Kong and Cambridge that I know it is all worth it. I will keep chasing as hard as I can as we are really close to finishing this part of the journey. (meaning the qualification criteria). I constantly grateful for the support and help given to me. It is a huge part of why I am still pushing!” Spies said. “We are always in need of more sponsorship and with Tokyo on the horizon sponsors are needed more than ever. If you would like to contribute to my journey please get in touch. “