By Bardy the Action Scribe

Reigning South African road race champion, Malcolm Lange, has confirmed that he is postponing his retirement from professional cycling and will race on until the end of 2008.

Malcolm Lange smiles after winning the gold medal in the Elite Men’s road race at the 2007 South African championships. Lange has decided to postpone his planned retirement and race for MTN Cycling until the end of 2008.

The 33-year-old sprinter, who is currently nursing a broken collarbone, said that he was still motivated to win more races and didn’t want to stop competing prematurely because of a crash.

“I won the South African championships this year and because I get to wear the special national champion’s jersey for a year, it would be best to honour the jersey for the full championship period,” said Lange. “It is also good publicity for our new sponsor, MTN, to have the national champion on the team.”

Lange was involved in a high-speed crash at the Powerade Dome-to-Dome Classic in September when his chain snapped – a freak mechanical failure – while he was sprinting for the finish line in a five-man breakaway group. The tumble left him with a badly broken collarbone and an injured hand.

“I want to finish my career on a high, not a low. The injury has prevented me from racing most of the big end-of-year events and I simply can’t retire until I can say I’ve given racing my everything from the start to the very end of my career.”

Lange is also motivated to share his vast racing experience with some new young riders that will be joining the team for 2008.

“With Daryl Impey moving to Team Barloworld, there are some big shoes to fill for the new riders. There will be a new team dynamic which will be refreshing and challenging at the same time.”

Lange first came to prominence as a road racer when, as a junior, he won the overall title at the Pick ’n Pay Amashovashova National Classic. He has won an incredible 375 races in his illustrious career and is hoping to be in action at the final major race of the year, the Pick ‘n Pay 94.7 Cycle Challenge on 18 November.

“I was on an indoor trainer a week after the crash and I’ve been training on the road for three weeks now. I don’t think I’ve lost too much form but I’m obviously not race-sharp. Hopefully I will be able to play a decent supporting role for the team. But whether I get to race again this year or not, I’m really looking forward to a great 2008!”