News24

Ertjies's organs failing

2012-02-28 22:15

Cape Town - The condition of South African cycling legend Ertjies Bezuidenhout, who suffered a massive stroke over the weekend, has deteriorated on Tuesday.

"Ertjies's organs are failing," Jacques van Vuuren, the former Rapport Cycle Tour winner's cousin, told the Beeld newspaper.

Bezuidenhout's wife, Adri, and Van Vuuren's brother, Leo, a former Junior Springbok cyclist, were at his bedside in a Pretoria hospital on Tuesday.

The 56-year-old 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.

The popular former Springbok - one of the best cyclists this country has ever produced - mainly trained with his old bikes from the 1980's.

"About three weeks ago I gave him a bike which I imported from Europe," said Jacques van Vuuren.

"Ertjies was really impressed with this bike and said it feels like a 'Rolls Royce' compared to his old bikes."

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.

Sport24

Comments
  • marnusmnorval - 2012-02-28 22:23

    This is really sad. Life is so short. LIFE IT TO THE FULLEST

  • Bulldozer - 2012-02-28 22:26

    Jammer om te hoor. Ons gebede is met jou.

  • Leon - 2012-02-28 22:46

    He was a cycling inspiration to me. Sad to hear. My prayers are with his family.

  • Judi Smit - 2012-02-29 05:55

    This is very sad. My prayers are with him and his family. But shame on News 24 for the absolutely insensitive heading to this article!

  • vmeiring1 - 2012-02-29 07:16

    Dis baie sad om te hoor van n sport legende. Ons bid vir jou Ertjies.

  • Tony - 2012-02-29 07:51

    You were a great cyclist and sportsman. Hang in there.

  • Willem - 2012-02-29 08:31

    May God comfort his wife & family in this difficult time.

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