Lucky Willemse Jnr to miss South African championships

Team CSC/Marcello's Chris Willemse Jnr will miss the South African National Championships in Durban...

Team CSC/Marcello's Chris Willemse Jnr will miss the South African National Championships in Durban this month, after suffering serious injuries at the Tour of Libya last month.

"While Chris is lucky to have escaped permanent head and spinal injury following his crash in the Tour of Libya, he is disappointed that he will not be able to defend his three national titles at the SA Championships in Durban in April," said the riders father and manager Chris Willemse Snr.

Willemse Jnr, who has been given doctors' orders to rest for the next two months, has three fractured spinal vertebrae and as a result will be unable to defend his team sprint, team pursuit and madison titles in Durban.

"We are however hoping the national selectors will consider Chris Jnr for the Olympic-qualifying UCI 'B' World Championships event, which takes place at the end of June," added Willemse Snr, "particularly since a wrist injury in 2005 ruled him out of participation in the 2006 Commonwealth Games."

While luck may not have been on the young Willemse's side, it appears it does favour the national CSC/Marcello team. The squad has received an invitation to participate in the UCI-sanctioned Tour de East Java in Indonesia, which will be held from July 4-8.

"This is exciting news for our team, which has shown great form this season having won several podium places, and we look forward to competing against teams from Iran, Qatar, Bahrain, Uzbekistan, China and Australia, amongst others," Willemse Snr said.

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