East London cyclists, South African Para-Cycling champions
By Khuthala Nandipha
Tim Stones and his guide and good friend Andrew Liddle were crowned the South African Para-Cycling champions after winning two gold medals at the Swadini Forever Resort in Mpumalanga on February, 6, 2020. They ride a tandem bike with Liddle leading from the front as Stones’ guide.
Fresh from completing the Ironman 70.3 half marathon 2020 Liddle, an old Selbornian, brought a massive fitness boost to the pair. The pair scored gold in two events, the 74km road race and the 15km time trial. Stones was born deaf and blind, but can partially see and hear with hearing aids and special glasses. He was participating for the first time at the championships after taking up cycling in 2019.
The pair are also the Eastern Cape Cycling championships having won gold in Morgan Bay in January 2020. Their top speed was 94km an hour. “When Tim asked me to be his guide and teach him, it was a definite yes. I enjoy riding with him because he is so athletic and is determined to conquer all areas of his interest,” said Liddle.
Stones, classified as a B3 (partially sighted) para cyclist is hoping to make the final cut for the South African team that will compete at the Para World Cup at the end of May, in Italy, as well as the Para World Championships on the same month in Belgium. Up next will be the Paralympics in Tokyo, Japan in September 2020.
To add to the good news, Stones who is getting married in early March, his son Brendan, and his fiance Mercia have been selected to the Border team to compete at the SA Biathlon national champs in Oudtshoorn on March 21, 2020.
“Winning the championships, unfortunately, does not mean we become part of the South African team automatically, we are placed in the final list. I am hoping to make it. The dream is Tokyo 2020,” said Stones.