News24

Ertjies fighting for his life

2012-02-27 22:31

Cape Town - South African cycling legend Ertjies Bezuidenhout, 56, is fighting for his life after suffering a massive stroke a few hours after participating in a race.

The Beeld newspaper reports that the former Springbok cyclist is in a serious condition in a Pretoria hospital.

Jacques van Vuuren, Bezuidenhout's cousin, told Beeld that he is in a "very, very bad" condition.

"The doctors told Adri (his wife) today (Monday) and tomorrow (Tuesday) are critical days."

Bezuidenhout, one of South Africa's best ever cyclists, participated in a 103km race in Brakpan on Sunday morning and finished the race.

"It was Ertjies's first race in 22 years. He has been cycling for about two hours a day for the last six months, mainly with his old bikes from way back," said Van Vuuren.

He started feeling ill on his way home to Pretoria and suffered the stroke at his house.

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.

After retiring from cycling, Bezuidenhout was a trainee manager at Mercedes Benz before starting his own business in Pretoria.

A few years ago he told jokingly told Beeld that he doesn't cycle anymore because "cars are more convenient".

Sport24

Comments
  • Lynda - 2012-02-27 23:00

    Wow so sorry, hope he gets better soon

  • John - 2012-02-27 23:31

    Our prayers are with him

  • Johnnie - 2012-02-28 02:33

    Hope he gets well quickly. Legend has it that his nickname was "Pere" (pears) before he started cycling!

      Ann - 2012-02-28 09:24

      Yes, Johnnie, that's what Ertjies always used to joke! :)

      Simon - 2012-02-28 11:43

      what purpose is served by the two (currently) idiots who have given this comment a thumbs down. An anecdotal comment reminiscing about good times in a time of tragedy has somehow been construed as in appropriate by some...The mind boggles as to what could lead peopl,e to trool sites merely to be negative....get a life people!!

  • Fredster - 2012-02-28 06:45

    All the best mate, and we wish you a speedy recovery

  • Cilla - 2012-02-28 07:09

    Very sad. Our prayers are with him.

  • Stanley - 2012-02-28 07:13

    God bless you Ertjies, Get well soon! You Sir You are a Legend!!

  • Frank Naude - 2012-02-28 07:52

    This is a shocker - we hope and pray for his recovery. Frank Sandra and family

  • Deon - 2012-02-28 08:10

    such a legend. If ever the was a 'struggle' to enjoy a cause it was with him, his peers and his era. You deserve a lot more and we all wish you a speedy recovery to a healthy life therafter

  • Llewelyn.Mulder.Snr - 2012-02-28 09:08

    Wish you a speedy recovery and may you come back with the power to get back onto your bike and join all of those who pray for you

  • Ann - 2012-02-28 09:24

    Thoughts are with Ertjies' family and friends. He's a wonderful man with a wicked sense of humour and I'm praying he will have a full and speedy recovery. xx

  • Wessel Vos - 2012-02-28 10:36

    Ertjies, only read about it now, I hope and pray you pull through these equally important days of your life, our prayers are with you and the family! Wessel, vossie and family.

  • john.h.leyden - 2012-02-28 10:38

    One of the Vaal Triangle's biggest sport legends - Get well soon, Erte.

  • gerry.pelser - 2012-02-28 12:10

    When I was a wee lad Ertjies was my hero. I wanted to BE that man. I followed the Rapport toer religiously just to see Ertjies in action. Fast forward a few years, and as an adult, I bumped into Ertjies at Sodwana Bay, and I had a scuba dive with the guy. It was amazing blowing bubbles with my childhood hero, and its still a cherished memory. Later that evening we shared a few beers and he told me all the stories of when I was a boy and he was my hero. It was special. Probably the equivalent of having a few brews with Sachin Tendulkar in today’s terms. I hope all the best for him and his family.

      gerry.pelser - 2012-02-28 12:53

      Thumbs down? Seriously? WHY???

      coenraadt - 2012-02-28 13:01

      vergewe hulle gerry, wie ookal daai is, is klomp karton dose

      Nicholas - 2012-02-28 14:58

      They do it deliberately Gerry just to get a reaction out of you! They've probably never even heard of Ertjies Bezuidenhout and have nothing intelligent to say.

      Zee - 2012-02-28 15:29

      Ai Gerry, there are some uneducated trolls around that cannot read or write, so they 'thumbs down' everything because they dont understand anything. Shame we must really feel sorry for them...........FRICKIN morons!!!!

  • vanessa.august - 2012-02-28 12:19

    Our prayers are with u and your family...Long live Ertjie

  • anton.labuschagne - 2012-02-28 12:37

    He 's been one of my sport heroes growing up .All the best during these times , hope you have a speedy recovery

  • Lynne - 2012-02-28 16:50

    Worked with Ertjies at MBSA for many years, a super guy. Thoughts and prayers with him and his family for a speedy recovery. Lynne from UK

  • Lynne - 2012-02-28 16:51

    Prayers and thoughts with Ertjies and family for a speedy recovery. A genuine super guy

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