Cycling

Ertjies Bezuidenhout dies

2012-02-29 11:39
Ertjies Bezuidenhout (Rika Joubert/Cyclenation.co.za)
Cape Town - South African cycling legend Ertjies Bezuidenhout, who suffered a massive stroke over the weekend, has died in a Pretoria hospital. He was 56.

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Jacques van Vuuren, the former Rapport Cycle Tour winner's cousin, confirmed the tragic news on Facebook on Wednesday.

Bezuidenhout suffered the stroke on Sunday, a few hours after finishing a 103km race in Brakpan on the East Rand.

It was his first race in 22 years. He started preparing for the race six months ago.

Bezuidenhout won the Rapport Cycle Tour in 1984 and also bagged three Argus titles - in 1981, 1984 and 1986.

He was a very strong climber and won the King of the Mountain title several times during the Rapport tours.

He rode in the same era as legends such as Alan van Heerden and Robbie McIntosh. Van Heerden died in a car crash a few years ago.

Due to South Africa's sporting isolation in the 1980's, Bezuidenhout at times participated in Europe under a false name and passport to test himself against the world’s best.

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