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Posted : 09 February 2012

Grade 12 cyclist now a pro

 Category: Sport

Daryn Wood

SOME matriculants dream of becoming lawyers or accountants, but 17-year-old Kellan Gouveris dreams of cycling for a living.
Kellan will take a giant step towards realising that dream when he starts his two-year contract with the Tasol-GT team next year.
The Pearson High School matriculant started his professional cycling career on a high note on Sunday, when he won the junior men’s category of The Herald VW Cycle Tour.
This was his professional road cycling debut for his new team.
Kellan started the race in the Elite Men starting group and finished in a time of 2 hours 38 minutes. This was only 11 minutes behind the men’s winner James Perry, also of Tasol-GT.
The former Mecer-NMMU rider will finish his Grade 12 exams at the end of the year and then move to Johannesburg to join his new team.
“I will get paid to ride my bike every day,” smiles Gouveris.
Although the Port Elizabeth-born rider is unsure of how he will cope in the big city of Johannesburg, he is up for the challenge.
“It is exciting for me because I have always wanted to be a professional. Tasol is a decent team and they are doing their best to develop me. I think it will be good.”
Kellan said he will stay (with the team) until the end of his contract and it is up to the team to decide if they will renew it.
The u-16 SA road and track champ has a number of achievements under his belt.
Last year he won all the events at the Eastern Province Road Junior Champs and won six gold medals out of eight events at the South African Track Champs. He also came third in the Junior National Road Champs and represented South Africa at the Junior World Track Championships in Russia where he did well, setting a few personal bests.
The cyclist will have a full plate this year, balancing his matric schedule with his cycling schedule. The new season has begun and Kellan has his sights set on the South African Road Champs in March to start off with.
“My goal is to win it. I have been training hard, and it has been hectic.”
He rides all year round, but his training intensifies during the season. He trains up to six hours a day during the school holidays and three to four hours a day during the term.
“Being in Grade 12 is difficult so I will have to try hard to balance everything.
Kellan is focused on doing well at school but is also aiming to excel at the South African and World Track Champs later this year.
“I want to do well in my final year as a junior,” he said.
The Pearsonite plans to take a gap year next year and start studying the following year, taking night classes.
His family is supportive, and they believe it is a great opportunity for him.
“They are happy for me, but want me to study,” said Kellan.
He added he has a busy year ahead of him with a lot of training.
“I still have a long way to go but it was my dream to turn pro and now it has happened.”


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