5 MINUTES WITH ROBBY RODRIGUES
IMAGES: Robby Rodrigues
Cape Town based South African road champi-on Robby Rodrigues took a few minutes of his time to tell Full Gas Racing about his experi-ence at the UCI World Championships in Perth Australia.
Race distance: 155km Age group: 40 -45 Race Position: 37th
Bike: ’16 Merida Scultura 5000
Local Team: ASG – Bennie Viljoen,
Robby Rodrigues, Richard Paxton, MC Dreyer, Jaco Davel, Steven Hayes.
National Titles: 30 – 34, 35 – 39, 40 – 44.
Robby started cycling at the age of 25 to assist with rehabilitation for torn ligaments in his knee during a league soccer match. 21 years later Robby has multiple national road titles under his belt and continues to race com-petitively both locally and nationally.
FG: What was your impression of cycling in Australia?
RR: “I found the roads to be in very good condi-tion; smooth and clean. There are no major traffic or pedestrian issues as there are cycle paths everywhere. On one specific ride we rode for four hours and could continue for another 95km on the same path.”
FG: What did you think about the route on race day?
RR: “The route was relatively flat except for two laps of the circuit which included a climb that compares to Red Hill in gradient and switchbacks. Climbs were narrow (one way traffic only), some riders on the inside of the switchbacks were forced to stop and push their bikes because of a bottleneck.”
FG: How did you find the race?
RR: “Shortly after the start, a group managed to build an advantage on the main group, this group eventually extended their lead to around 7mins.
I knew from the start, I would not be able to go with an early break as I wasn ’t confident enough to commit to the break for that dis-tance. (155km) When the main field started chasing down the break they used the climb as a platform to ride across, I knew the chase was on, because at that point we were climb-ing on the big blade, by this stage there were only 126 riders left on the course; some had crashed and some had withdrawn. Heading to the finish line many riders had managed to reduce the gap, but at the finish still had a 1’51” deficit with the winning time being 4h12min12” I managed to hang on for a 37th position overall.
FG: What did your travelling to Australia in-volve?
RR: “Travelling included about 20hrs of flying from Cape Town to Dubai and from there directly to Perth. Funding was an issue, but with gener-ous donations received through a personal fund-raiser and assistance from my local sponsor ASG, I managed to make this trip a possibility.
The locals from Malmesbury also surprised me by having held a fundraiser of their own.”
FG: What are your plans for the rest of 2016? RR: “I am back at work again (Bike
Addict –Malmesbury) so I will be riding the rest of the local races including the De-AL Killarneyseries and together with my team (ASG) I am also preparing for the Coronation Double Century in
FG: We understand that you are not only a proud cycling champion, but somewhere in the 80’s you were once a pro skateboarder… RR: “Yes, way back in
1989 I won the national skateboarding championships in Umhlanga, Dur-ban. I still skate in moderation, always keeping the possibility of injury in the back of my mind as it could affect my cycling career, but it still brings me a great deal of joy.”
Article by Full Gas Racing