Proline manager Alex Cooper has huge faith in his team leading up to Sunday’s Mr Price Tour Durban. “I’m going into the race with the belief that we are going to win,” he said.

Proline boasts the defending champion Anriette Schoeman and although she is still on the mend following a terrible crash in the Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour, she is one of three riders in the team that Cooper regards as possible race winners for Sunday’s Classic.

The others are Elsa Karsten and Chrissie Viljoen. “Chrissie is very motivated at the moment following her selection to the South African duathlon team that will take part in the World Championships in Italy later this year. She also comes off a good win in the Cyclone Vasbyt Challenge,” said Cooper.

Regardless of the flat course Cooper is expecting an interesting tussle. “Ronel van Wyk’s mindset will be pretty good at the moment following her win at SA’s and after recently also confirming her sponsorship deals for the year. If it comes down to a sprint I believe the laurels will go to either one of Ronel, Anriette and Liza Serfontein.”

Serfontein represents the newly former Diamond Ice outfit with Cassandra Slingerland and is held in high regard by Cooper. “People forget that she is an experienced rider who has represented South Africa on many occasions. She struggled with a leg injury for the past three years which now seems to be something of the past. Her form is good.”

Schoeman isn’t yet at full strength following her crash and the same goes for teammate Marissa van der Merwe, “so I’m not expecting the world from them,” said Cooper.

Although the race doesn’t suit her – it’s a flat out and back course – Anke Erlank (Microsoft) is another very dangerous factor. “Everybody knows how strong she is, and will be well aware that letting her slip off the front can mean the end of the race, so we’ll be watching her with a careful eye.”

Another motivating factor for Proline will be that their budget for 2006 is being finalised next week, and there’s nothing like a last minute surge to impress the sponsor.

The Mr Price Tour Durban takes place on Sunday, 24 April, and all the information you could need is available on, and any inquiries can be made to Annie and Melissa on , by fax to , or by e-mail to

Kermesse racing for the women, junior men, veteran men and elite men also takes place on Friday evening at the Gateway Theatre of Shopping, starting at 18:00.