African Games: cycling reaches halfway point. @CYCLINGAFRICA on 'X'

Cycling saw three days of competition with medals awarded for both men and women. South Africa and Eritrea have emerged as the most successful countries in the sport at the 13th African Games, with Mauritius and Algeria also winning gold.

Cycling got underway on Saturday 9th with the Elite and U23 women's road races. This serves as a tune-up for some of the athletes to compete and prepare them for Paris 2024. After three days of competition, Eritrea and South Africa are leading African cycling. 

Eritrea made history on Day 3 with the Criterium event. Nahom Zeray Araya took gold in the men's race, with compatriot Merhawi Kudus Ghebremedhin taking silver and Mauritius' Aurelien De Comarmond securing bronze. Adiam Dawit and Kisanet Teages also secured gold and bronze for Eritrea in the women's U23 category, while South Africa's Anika Visser won the silver medal. 

In the women's race, Hayley Preen achieved her second gold at the 2023 African Games, while Anri Krugel and Diane Ingabire completed the podium. In the U23 Men's category, Nahom Zeray secured the gold medal.

On the first day, South Africa's Hayley Preen won by 23 seconds from Aurelie Halbwachs. It was Preen's first continental victory after finishing second at the 2021 African Continental Championships and 12th at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Halbwachs, who was in better form after winning the 2023 African Continental Championships, couldn't improve on her second-place finish in 2019.

Hayley Preen after winning the Criterium event. 'X' / CYCLING AFRICA
Hayley Preen after winning the Criterium event. 'X' / CYCLING AFRICA

At the U23 category, Algeria's Nesrine Houili won the gold, while Eritrea's Adiam Dawit and Monalisa Araya achieved silver and bronze medals. 

On Sunday 10, it was the men's turn. After an unexpected delay of over an hour due to a lack of fuel in the ambulance, Mauritian Alexandre Mayer reach his first career's major victory ahead of Dillon Geary and Merhawi Kudus. South Africa's 21-year-old Dillon Geary won the U23 title, with De Comarmond and Nahom Zeray taking silver and bronze respectively.

The women's and men's Team Trials will be the next discipline on Thursday 14th and cycling at the 2023 African Games will conclude for both categories on Friday 15.