She was on her way to becoming a 2016 Olympic gold medalist when she had a horrific crash on the treacherous descent in the women’s road race in Rio. Images of the 33-year-old rider on the pavement shocked the world, with viewers thinking she was dead. Despite fracturing her spine in three places, she was back on her bike a month later, winning the Belgium Tour. Her first name is Annemiek. (3, 7)
Van Vleuten
This South-African born Kiwi, riding for Dimension Data, fought for his life after he crashed into a team car’s rear windscreen in June. Sprawled in a pool of blood, his throat slashed open by glass, the 19-year-old talented rider should have died on an Italian road. In October he was on the road to recovery. If you want goosebumps and a weep, search YouTube for this rider’s name and “haka”. His first name is Keagan. (11)
Girdlestone
This recently retired rider – aka Evil Jnr who hails from the kingdom of Knysna - was banned from cycling for four years after irregularities in his Athlete Biological Passport was discovered. (5, 5)
Kevin Evans
The Knysna doper was not the only pro caught in the drug net. The name of another doper rhymes with “Dork Loser”. (6, 7)
Rourke Croeser
These extravagant polar, panda, grizzly and koalas became cycling’s version of Wikileaks, releasing hacked medical data about Sir Bradley Wiggens and Chris Froome (among others), sparking a TUE controversy. (5,5)
Fancy Bears
Kevin Vermaak, founder of the Cape Epic, sold the toughest mountain bike race to the company that owns this franchise, prompting jokers to tweet that now the Cape Epic would add swimming and running legs to it. Although Vermaak won’t reveal how much he sold the event for it didn’t quite top the R20-billion that Iron Man 3 made at the box office. (7)
Ironman
We talked about this bad ass rider for three reasons – firstly, he rocked unshaved legs, breaking a 100-year-old tradition and causing keyboard worriers to vent on cycling forums. Secondly, he appeared on the start line at the Olympic MTB cross country race – an early puncture scuppered the road racing world champ’s chances of pulling off a dream victory. Thirdly, he won the World Champs for the second consecutive year. His name is an anagram of Green Pasta. (5, 5)
Peter Sagan
If they were blue they would be in the Currie Cup, if they were red they would give you wings. Karl Platt and Urs Huber dominated the 2016 Cape Epic (which might have something to do with Jaroslav Kulhavy focusing on trying to defend his Olympic crown).
Team Bulls
We try to claim Chris Froome as a Saffer but in our hearts we know he’s not. However, this Lampre–Merida rider is a South African as jukskei. He excelled at the Tour de France – where pundits believe he will be a future yellow jersey wearer. His name rhymes with “Loo Wee Main Keys” and is an anagram of “limousine jets”. (5, 8)
Louis Meintjes
One of Johannesburg’s new mayor’s first acts was to put the brakes on cycle lanes in Joburg. The founder of a hair products empire, who is a million hair, doesn’t see the fringe benefits of having a permanent place for cyclists, who now have to bob and weave through hairy traffic if they don’t want to get hit by a car. He brushed off criticism, saying if you don’t like it, curl up and dye. (6, 7)
Herman Mashaba
This company came on as a sponsor for Qhubeka when MTN did to the team what it does to phone calls: dropped them. (9, 4)
Dimension Data

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