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Tyler Lange
Tyler Lange

This week is yet another proud moment for Paarl as the local young cyclist Tyler Lange jetted off to Spain to join an international cycling team.

According to Lange discussions about him joining the EF Education Nippo Development Team, which is based in Girona in Spain, started around September last year.

The 19-year-old, who relocated from Johannesburg to Paarl with his family in 2017, is still in disbelief about the opportunity, but looks forward to travelling across the world and cycling in different countries.

He says although the team is based in Spain he will travel most of the time to other countries to participate in different races. His first race will be in Croatia on 1 March.

“I have just finished school so this is quite a big step for me and I’m looking forward to it. It is going to be a big eye opener (for me). Trying to race with the older guys is quite a big thing for me at my age. I think it is the best thing to try and get onto that level so young – it can only help me in the future.”

Lange was presented with the opportunity to join two established cycling clubs, but instead he and his father Malcolm decided to start their own one-man club. He reckons he trained much harder on his own, something he believes will help him more in the long run.

“My interest and love for the sport of cycling started when I was very young. My dad was a professional cyclist so I grew up watching him race and just knew I wanted, one day, to make it to Europe and race as a professional there. That is why this opportunity with the EF Education Nippo Development team is so incredible.”

Malcolm is a retired professional racing cyclist and a three-time winner of the South African National Road Race Champions. His son feels truly honoured to follow in his footsteps, yet looks forward to paving his own way to success.

Regarding some of his successes Lange says: “I’ve raced in Belgium for a total of two months over the past year and a half and managed to get really consistent results there, with multiple top-10 finishes and even three top five finishes. I have then also finished 14th overall in the Cape Town Cycle Tour as an u-19 in the Elite bunch, winning the u-19 category.”

Reflecting once again on the opportunities he’d been given, the matriculant from Bridge House added: “This opportunity means so much to me as it is what I’ve wanted to do since I was young and a massive step forward to making it to the very top of the sport of cycling.”

Setting clear goals and knowing what results he is aiming for when it comes to races is what keeps this young cyclist motivated.

Lange said he will be back in South Africa around June or July for a break, before he heads back to his team in Spain.

“This year is a big learning curve for me as I am only 19 and going to race much older and more experienced professional riders overseas.”

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