Laurens Meintjes

Laurens Smitz Meintjes ( born June 9, 1868 in Aberdeen, Cape Colony, † March 30, 1941 ) was a racing driver from South Africa, who at the first web - Cycling World Championships in Chicago stayer world champion of amateurs in 1893.

Meintjes worked as a manager of several gold mines in South Africa and as such a lot of traveling by bike. In 1891 he was persuaded to participate in bicycle races. He was probably the first person in South Africa who was driving a bicycle with pneumatic tires.

1893 Meintjes was named by his club to participate in the world Bicycle Exhibition in Chicago, during which took place the first official world championships. There Meintjes won the championship over 62 miles behind pacemaker (then still without motor). During this race, he set several records. On his return to South Africa in November 1893, he was greeted by an enthusiastic crowd.

Meintjes was the first sports star in South Africa and the first world champion, who came from Africa. In 1894 he retired from active competition to even sell bicycles.