He’s left All Blacks, Wallabies, Englishmen and many more clutching air, but elusive Springbok wing Breyton Paulse was himself seeking some extra oxygen on occasion over the past few days.
The former Springbok flyer took part and finished his first Wines2Whales mountain bike race, riding with accomplished cyclist Johan Coetzee.
“It was good, but hard,”said Paulse of the experience. “Johan is a top rider so he had to have lots of patience with me.”he laughed.
Paulse played for the Springboks from 1999 to 2007 against all the world’s top tier international rugby teams and scored 64 tries.
Over the three days of the FNB Wines2Whales he impressed onlookers by finishing towards the front end of the field every day.
“Ja, I’m going to race the Cape Epic in March and I am getting stronger,”he said.
But yesterday Paulse was celebrating his first Wines2Whales finish after three tough days on each of which the temperature soared well past the 30degC mark.
“It was my first one but I am very happy with how it went,”said Paulse as he clutched his finisher’s medal at the finish alongside the sea at Hermanus’s iconic Marine Hotel.
He said he had been impressed by the trails on the route and particularly the atmosphere around the event. “The course was amazing and I really enjoyed the whole vibe of the event.”
It is the first time the FNB Wines2Whales has finished at The Marine Hotel and Paulse said: “What a spectacular finish …and another beautiful day in Africa.”
Paulse is, however, not a novice to mountain biking. In 2009 he took on the eight days of the Cape Epic and finished, but admits he was under-prepared and suffered mightily. “After that I packed the bike away and didn’t look at it for a long time,”he laughed.
Recently, however his passion for cycling was reignited and after a few rides he decided it was time to take on some stage races.
Besides taking pleasure in the sport, Paulse rides for Cansa, a charity which funds research in cancer.