Robert Hunter’s Tour-de-France Victory
South African cyclist, Robert Hunter recently gained a major victory for the Barloworld team, and for South Africa, when he won the 11th stage of the world-renowned Tour-de-France. Prior to this outstanding victory Hunter came in 4th in Stage 1; 5th in Stage 2; 2nd in Stage 4; and 8th in Stage 6. It was a thrilling win for Robert Hunter who managed to beat Murilo Fischer and Fabian Cancellara in the final stretch.
The 11th Stage of the Tour-de-France covered 182 km between Marseille and Montpellier. Robert Hunter was thrilled by his win and beamed with pride. Conditions on the day of the 11th Stage were ripe for tactical racing, causing some to drop behind, whilst others managed to fight to stay ahead. Robert Hunter’s win at the Tour-de-France is a first for Africa and he can be sure that many eager spectators back home will be cheering him on in the next few stages.
Robert Hunter was born on 22 April in 1977. He began riding his bicycle at the age of 11 and began participating in races at the age of 13. He received a racing license at 14 years of age. In 1992 he was diagnosed with Spondyloysis and Scheuermanns disease and had to take a year off. In 1993 he resumed his racing career and gained 15 victories in that same year. After completing high school, Hunter decided to make a career of cycling. He would work in restaurants to support his cycling. He managed to cope with tips and competition prize money. In 1995 he focused solely on racing and was sponsored by the Canola Team. That year he cycled the Hansom Tour. Robert Hunter was sponsored by his friend Tony Harding in 1997 with who he raced in Belgium for some 3 months.
Toward the end of 1997, with the assistance of Brent Copeland, Hunter was offered a contract with Velo Club Lugano in Italy. It wasn’t easy to pursue his cycling career in a foreign country, but it gave him an opportunity to experience a whole new level of racing. The competitions were longer, faster and more difficult. During this time he received extensive advice from the professional riders. By the end of 1998, Hunter rode as a guest rider for Mapei. Just one week afterwards he signed a pro contract.
This is how Robert Hunter’s professional cycling career kicked off and has finally led him to race in the 2007 Tour-de-France. South Africans and other fans look forward to watching Hunter’s future successes.