03 Aug, 2015

Morné van Niekerk blogs from France!

Morné van Niekerk proudly wears his Team Abantu colours!
“It’s been the toughest four-weeks of my life,” said Morné.

Ronde du Vuelac, Morlaix (16 July)
What was supposed to be a crit turned out to be a very hard race. “I attacked two laps into the race out of a 180 degree corner. Rode solo for four laps then was joined by 14 other riders and that was the break of the day,” writes Morné.

“We stayed away and went flat out till 30 kilometres to go, where the team that had more riders than everyone else again started attacking. That would not work with me! Eventually, one of their riders got away and I managed to go solo with 20 kilometres to go, while being chased by five riders of this team.

They eventually caught me with 200 metres to go. “I had some good sensations in the legs and I can feel that I am getting stronger every race,” writes Morné.

La Ronde Finistrienne Three, Pencran (19 July)
Today I had some really bad legs. No reason really. Just one of those days. I didn’t get a good warmup which didn’t help the issue, the weather was terrible and I did not feel like riding around in the wet 30 minutes before the race.

“I managed to finish 17th where a lot of riders abandoned or got eliminated,” blogs Morné. So on a bad day he was still decent. This certainly made it tougher for Morne and will help to build his confidence.

La Ronde Finistrienne Four, St. Jacques (26 July)
“I really didn’t feel good in this race,” writes Morné. After finishing 11th, Morne had to keep mentally strong not to stop halfway. “Huelgoat (Helgat), where I have been staying for this series has really taken its toll on me and I feel exhausted,” blogs Morné.

“I came to blows with a few French riders today but then did a little easy motorpace session after the race just to calm down and cool down,” writes Morné.

Life off the bike
“It has been extremely tough,” writes Morne. “I have been waking up tired for four weeks on the table that I am sleeping on in the kitchen. The first week was fine. The second week I managed, but the third is where it started hitting me and taking its toll.”

“I was doing a big block of training in this week because I was only racing again on Sunday but it got to a point where it was extremely tough just to get up and go ride my bike,” blogs Morne. The only reason he rode was to get out of the house.

“To the person reading this and thinking that it can’t be that bad or that I am soft, trust me it’s been tough,” writes Morné.

“I used to think that of other riders when we went overseas for short stints or for events and people got homesick. But that’s just it! I wasn’t event homesick. I was exhausted. Exhausted from having to clean up a massive mess after I had just cleaned up the other,” blogs Morné.

Not being able to just go to his room and sleep a bit. From having to wake up on rainy days, day in and day out. From having to shower and run outside into the cold rain to close the water so that the kitchen (Morné’s room) does not flood.

“I can live easily by myself in a little apartment with not much, but it is hard living in someone else’s home. You can’t change their stuff, because at the end of the day it is their stuff and not yours. This is where the story changes luckily,” writes Morné.

“I am not one to force my religion down people’s throats, but I am a Christian. And let me tell you how thankful I am to the mighty Lord. I was broken, on the floor, but he carried me and I made it through the toughest four weeks that I have ever had to endure. Both physically and mentally.

“I will always remember that and the lessons I learned about myself and the experience I have gained. I am now back in Angers and I am staying with Jean Francois Quenet and it is amazing,” writes Morné.

“The roads are great. There is life in the streets and everything is within walking distance. My morale is up again and each day my body is getting better. I am racing in the Challenge de Mayennais from Saturday to Monday and I am looking forward to flying our beautiful South African flag high,” writes Morné.
Kyle Deeley

Kyle Deeley

Editorial Assistant |