EAST London cycling star Jevandre Pauls is back on his bike and raring to go a mere seven-and-a-half weeks after a horrific injury almost put paid to his blossoming career.
Pauls suffered extensive facial injuries after hitting a barrier and falling face first into some rocks while avoiding an accident around a blind bend, riding for his team Bonitas at the Race for Victory in Johannesburg in September. He will be riding in the main event in Sunday’s Border 1 000 Cycle Tour, an 80km race from Stutterheim to East London.
Pauls’s first biking action since his crash was at a Seaside Family Church Fun Cycle 12 days ago in Gonubie, where he triumphed in the 50km race over fellow East London professional cyclist Reinhard Butler.
This will be the 19-year-old’s third attempt at the main event of the Border 1 000, having triumphed in the 35km while still a junior, and a good performance will go a long way to improving his confidence.
With some important races coming up, Pauls will go all out for the win.
“After the Border 1 000, I will be racing the 94.7 in Johannesburg next weekend – my first official big race with my team again and basically the closing race of the season,” said Pauls.
“I will still compete in a few small events before the All Africa Games at the end of November.”
Pauls was in the operating room just this Tuesday to fix a minor problem relating to his accident and, despite having a swollen face, does not believe it will be a problem going into this weekend’s race.
Despite the difficulties he has faced since the accident, Pauls believes that getting through what he has endured will benefit him in the long run and set him up well for the future.
“If this had happened at a later stage in my career it would have held me back a lot more,” he said.
“But now it is teaching me how to deal with these things, so it won’t affect me as much if it happens again and I will be prepared.”