Cycling South Africa News
O’Keeffe, Nhlapo deliver top results in BMX Supercross World Cup (ARG)
13 May 2013 – South African BMX riders Teagan O’Keeffe and Sifiso Nhlapo delivered the goods this weekend at round two of the 2013 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup in Santiago del Estero, Argentina on 10 and 11 May.
For South Africa’s only elite women representative on the BMX world stage, the Kloof (KZN) local raced near perfect sessions during her qualifying time trials, motos and main heats.
Kicking off in the time trial, O’Keeffe posted a time of 38,675 seconds to qualify for the motos in 18th place, where only the top 32 women proceed. Great Britain’s Shanaze Reade set the fastest qualifying time in 35,234 seconds.
O’Keeffe then had to race three motos, whereby only the top four riders proceeded to the two main heats, and again posted the results she needed finishing fourth, fifth and fourth. Teagan squeezed through the semi final in fourth place once again to race in the coveted final round, where she finished the weekend’s racing in 5th place.
By claiming fifth place in the main race, O’Keeffe is now ranked 10th in the world, in the elite women’s UCI BMX Supercross World Cup standings, which is her highest ranking to date.
Teagan said: “I am very happy with my 5th place finish in Argentina. This is my best result in BMX Supercross so far. The vibe here in Argentina was crazy! Thanks everyone for all your support and messages.”
Olympian Sifiso “Skizo” Nhlapo raced equally well, qualifying in the time trial when he finished in 29th place, recording a time of 33,407 seconds. Not far behind Nhlapo was Kyle Dodd, who also qualified in 37th place in 33,626 seconds. The top 64 men proceeded to the motos, and American Connor Fields set the fastest qualifier in 32,106 seconds.
Nhlapo, from Centurion but currently racing in the USA, seemed in complete control during the motos where he finished in first, second and third places in his three heats. He continued to claim first again in the quarter final round, and then finished second in the semi final to proceed to his first main event since 2009 in a SX World Cup race. Skizo finished in 6th place in the main.
Nhlapo said: “I felt good all week leading up to the race and everything was clicking. The heats went well. I thought that the break between semis and the main event was a little short, but I guess it’s the same for everyone. My legs felt a little heavy when we were in the start gate for the final, but knew I could go for another lap. I blew my start but managed to fly through the pack and avoid a crash, finishing 6th. Overall I am happy with the way I raced and hope to keep improving over the next few weeks and perform better at the next few races.”
Dodd was unfortunate to go down in a crash in his second moto where he broke his collarbone and was forced to retire. Up until the accident, he finished in fifth in his first moto. The Alberton resident was very happy with his performance up until his misfortune.
“This is the furthest I’ve got to so far in BMX SX racing. The competition is always going to be tough and I really had to mentally prepare properly. It’s a pity it ended like it did, but I’m going to be back in action soon.” Dodd will be out of racing for approximately six weeks.
The next event for elite BMX racers will be the third round of the 2013 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup in Papendal, The Netherlands on 15 and 16 June.
Teagan O’Keeffe’s 5th place finish at this weekend’s UCI BMX Supercross World Cup in Santiago del Estero, Argentina sees her now ranked 10th in the world in the elite women’s UCI BMX Supercross World Cup standings, which is her highest ranking to date. Photo courtesy Craig Dutton / www.craigdutton.com
Sifiso Nhlapo’s UCI BMX Supercross World Cup efforts in Santiago del Estero, Argentina saw him achieve a 6th place in the final heat. Photo: supplied
PR & COMMUNICATIONS – CYCLING SOUTH AFRICA
UCI MTB and Trails World Champs Media Release
8 May 2013
Pietermaritzburg – The UCI Masters MTB World Championships, which take place at Cascades MTB Park from 21-25 August, present one of South Africa’s most colourful and widely recognized cycling personalities, Sharlene McGilvray, a rare opportunity as she looks to become the first South African ever to claim a masters world championships title in two different disciplines.
Having already been crowned BMX world champ in the women’s 45+ Cruiser class at the UCI BMX World Championships in her hometown in 2010, the self-proclaimed ‘fastest old bat in the world’ is at it again and will be hoping to repeat the feat when mountain biking’s most prestigious masters event comes to town later this year.
“There’s no doubt about it, I want gold!” said McGilvray. “That most certainly is my goal and what my focus is at the moment, but I’m also going to have fun whilst trying to do that!”
“I’m not putting any pressure on myself. I’ll just look to go out there and have a blast but I’m definitely going there to try and win.
“It’s a whole different ball game to 2010 and I know that I definitely have my work cut out for me but I’m flipping determined!
If anyone understands what it means to be crowned world champion in their hometown it McGilvray and the experience she enjoyed at the 2010 BMX spectacle still plays a significant role in her life today.
“Competing at the BMX World Champs in 2010 was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done. The atmosphere was out of this world and the support we, as South Africans, got was simply indescribable!
“When we got up to the start gate at the top of the hill our names and countries were announced to the crowd. When they called mine out and the crowd heard “South Africa” they just erupted and I actually started crying I was so overwhelmed.
“To this day I still have people I don’t even know coming up to me in the streets, at the shops or at races saying that they were there the day I won and that is just one of the most unbelievable feelings ever!
Just moments after completing her thrilling victorious lap on the BMX circuit three years ago, the Team Jeep competitor listed the pressure of racing in front of her home crowd as one of the largest obstacles she had to overcome en route to victory.
This time around though, the multi-coloured haired adrenalin junkie is expecting a vastly different type of a spectacle with its own unique challenges and obstacles to overcome. It is, however, one the Team Jeep competitor is relishing the opportunity to be a part of.
“The MTB World Champs is a completely different challenge and will have a very different feel to it. The crowds will be scattered throughout the course and there won’t quite be the vibe of 2010 but the event will still be just as big, if not bigger than, the BMX World Champs and I can’t wait to be a part of it all.
Having been a part of the cycling world for decades and after starting her cycling journey in the MTB community, fittingly McGilvray appears to have come full circle ahead her quest for gold at this year’s event.
Despite this fairytale type setting, as well as the invaluable experience she also has on her side after her BMX success three years ago, McGilvray does however realize the size of the task ahead of her if she is to be successful in her golden bid, particularly after her last adventure – an assault on the renowned Dusi Canoe Marathon – kept her out of the saddle for some time in recent months.
“I first started doing downhill mountain biking before I switched to BMX, which I ended up doing for fourteen years. In 2011 I then switched back to MTB but have been riding single speed bikes mostly so this whole gearing change now has been quite tricky.
“Also, with me having done my first Dusi in February, I probably rode my bike a maximum of three times in the past eleven months so I’m definitely still getting back into things.
“I’ve got so much work to do, I realize that, but I’m working hard in training at the moment and am starting to feel a bit better with where I am in my preparation.
McGilvray, who will be hoping to give herself the best possible birthday present at this year’s event by clinching gold the day before her 54th celebrations, will also have the slight obstacle of further time off the bike to contend with as she heads for the United States of America at the end of May to visit her daughter.
However, through professional help and many hours of hard work, she is confident she will be where she needs to ahead of the international showcase in August.
“Training wise the timing isn’t ideal but I absolutely can’t wait to go visit my daughter in Boston and spend some time in New York as well! I’ll still be training whilst I’m over there through lots of running and plyometric work daily to try stay in shape as best I can.
“Before the 2010 BMX World Champs I went to a sports hypnotherapist, Andrea Kellerman, and I’ve also started seeing her again ahead of this year’s MTB Masters to try help me with my confidence and mental preparation.
“As far as riding goes my favourite sections are the single track stretches but I’m working hard on the technical stuff as well. Every time I get to a rock garden and get a little anxious I think to myself ‘If I can go over this sort of stuff in a canoe then I can damn well do over it on a bike!’
The UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships takes place at The Cascades MTB park in Pietermaritzburg from 26 August to 1 September 2013, and will be preceded by the UCI MTB Masters World Championships from 21 to 25 August. More information can be found at www.mtbworldchamps.co.za
2 May 2013 – The following BMX cyclists have been selected for the South African BMX Squad for the 2013 UCI BMX World Championships, which takes place in New Zealand from 24-28 July 2013.
South Africa has qualified the following number of riders as per the new UCI qualifying criteria for the elite category: two elite men, two junior elite men and one elite woman.
The elite riders will be identified before the end of May to participate in that category and will be announced.
SA BMX Squad for the 2013 UCI BMX World Championships (Auckland):