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Africa kicks off Continental Championships

Yesterday's African Continental cycling championships saw South African Robbie Hunter and Mauritian Aurélie Halbwachs defeat the competition in the time trial.

In her first time competing at this level, Aurélie Halbwachs, only 20-years-old, surprised herself and the crowds by winning a gold medal after averaging 41.2km/h in the 11.1km (one lap) time trial. South African Ronel Van Wyk finished four seconds back and Zimbabwean Linda Davidson trailed in third at 11 seconds. Halbwachs lives and studies in Toulouse, France, when not racing in Africa.

Halbwachs said of her performance, "I was stressed, and it was not really obvious how to manage. But I was trustful of being able to do well. I did not know the course well beforehand. I am very proud [of my win]. I think that my title will help female cycling in Mauritius."

Hunter lived up to his reputation and expectations and finished the 22.2km (two laps) in 27 minutes and 45 seconds at an average of 48.5km/h. Fifty seconds separated him from Nambian Dan Craven. Another South African, Daryl Impey, took third in 28 minutes and 43 seconds.

Hunter said after the race, "This title is important because it brings to us points for the world championships. The course was appropriate for me. It was good. I am glad to win the title for the team."

Results can be found here. The road races will occur on Sunday.

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