ProTouch Sports, a sports management business established in 2016 with the purpose of developing South African cycling talent, to compete successfully at national and international levels has come along way over the last two years.
“Our successful 2017 results were achieved as a TEAM effort with: 13 podiums in the 1-day Classics; 6 stage wins, in local and beyond border (U23/ Elite) Tours and an European (Junior) Tour; 13 Gold, 8 Silver, 3 Bronze medals at the Africa and SA Track Championships; 4 Green Jerseys (including Junior Tour of Ireland); 7 Best Young Rider Jerseys (including Tour de Maurice and Tour de Windhoek); and, 2 Overall Best Team wins (including Jock Tour) and a 2nd place Overall Best Team at Tour de Maurice,” says Tony Harding, Director Sportif - ProTouch Sports.
ProTouch’s Founding Captain J C Nel, retired from professional racing early on in the season and whilst this was a great loss to the Team, he was replaced with a seasoned campaigner, PIETER SEYFFERT. Pieter’s strong leadership skills and experience have been displayed in the Team’s more representative style of racing. Pieter continues to fulfil this role and will play a pivotal role in leading the Team for 2018.
MYLES VAN MUSSCHENBROEK had a great Tour of Good Hope, after being handed the leadership and GC role for the first time in his career. He came so close (losing the yellow jersey by 1.04 seconds) but, the experience gained will surely have motivated him to achieve bigger and better results, for himself and his Team. Myles, went on later this year to secure a stage win at Tour de Maurice.
MITCH ELIOT started to make his way back as a rider to be taken seriously on the climbs and, it won’t be long before he is firing on all cylinders again. “Mitch contested various Best Young Rider titles this year, winning a number of them including: Tour de Maurice; Tour de Windhoek; and, Clover Tour. 2018 is his time to shine again and, I am sure he will not disappoint,” continued Tony.
Various SA National Titles on the road, track and time trial events were won by our two Junior riders, JASON OOSTHUIZEN and RICKARDO BROXHAM in 2017. ProTouch was represented at both the World Road and Track Championships and, Jason went on to win the Green Jersey at the Junior Tour of Ireland. Rickardo too, has shown huge potential, finishing in the bunch and on the podium with some of the top U23/ Elite riders this season. These results show that ProTouch is on the right path with the development of Junior athletes.
“Myles, Mitch, Jason and Rickardo have all been consistent and, are a real inspiration for the rest of Team. They will continue their development with Pro Touch for the 2018 season and, we are looking forward to seeing them grow this coming year,” added Tony.
ProTouch augmented the Team, in the second half of the year with some guest riders, JAYDÉ JULIUS, JAMES FOURIE and GUSTAV BASSON. They displayed great work ethic, determination, great attitudes as well as commitment to the team and, ProTouch is honoured to have had them contribute to its successes.
JAYDÉ JULIUS has been given a full contract with ProTouch for the 2018 racing season and, we look forward to him building on his successful results, already achieved with the Team. His willingness to listen and still learn, despite years of experience will make him a hard man to beat.
U23 rider, GUSTAV BASSON joins the squad as well with a wealth of racing experience. He has set some really high goals and ProTouch is looking forward to him achieving those for the Team in 2018.
JAMES FOURIE “aka Pops” also comes across as a 1-day and Tour rider for 2018. James is the Team’s “Silent Assassin” who also achieved a stage win at the 2017 Jock Tour. His quiet demeanour often does not do justice to the powerful rider that he is.
ProTouch has signed a new first year Junior, TIANO DA SILVA, to continue with its vision of building and developing youngsters in the sport, for the future benefit of South African cycling.
To close off the Team for 2018, ProTouch is really excited to welcome its new sprinter, REYNARD BUTLER. “Reynard brings a wealth of knowledge when it comes to sprint finishes, as well as the track discipline. We believe that he will prove to be a great addition this year, giving us that firepower we will need at the finish line,” Tony added.
STEPHAN REYNEKE, who was part of the Road Team this year, will be moving to the 2018 ProTouch MTB Team and, we will be making some important announcements around this soon.
NEIL ROBINSON, who was plagued by knee injuries throughout the season resulting in him having to take extended time off the bike, has been of great support to the team. We would like to see him take a role in managing our Juniors and, assisting with Team management in the future.
ProTouch and its riders continue to pursue their dreams, both on a personal level and as a TEAM. 2018 will see us achieving many more of the goals we have set for ourselves including riding in Support of SA Talent. Follow us on this exciting journey and we are sure that you will enjoy the ride.
2018 PROTOUCH TEAM INCLUDES:
- PIETER SEYFFERT (CAPTAIN)
- REYNARD BUTLER (ELITE)
- JAYDÉ JULIUS (ELITE)
- MYLES VAN MUSSCHENBROEK (ELITE)
- JAMES FOURIE (ELITE)
- MITCH ELIOT (U23)
- GUSTAV BASSON (U23)
- JASON OOSTHUIZEN (U23)
- RICKARDO BROXHAM (JUNIOR)
- TIANO DA SILVA (JUNIOR)