Star in the making | SASCOC - SASCOC

Star in the making

James Reid (Mr Price/BMC) is undoubtedly one of the most intelligent and talented young riders in South African cycling, with the 18-year-old winning 10 races of importance in 2010, including a SA half marathon title.

He also finished 11th in the junior race of the 2010 UCI MTB World Championship in Canada so its no surprise that Reid has been selected to represent South Africa at the 2011 African Continental Championship in Jonkershoek, Stellenbosch this weekend. It will be the first time that he will compete in a cross-country race as an Under-23 rider.

Some of the top riders the continent has to offer will be giving it their best.

But Reid’s talents are not restricted to the mundane task of furiously stomping pedals for hours on end. In his final matric exams Reid achieved no less than seven distinctions. What’s more, there is a good chance that seven might turn into eight, because Reid is not happy about his B for Zulu and has requested a remark.

Reid’s goal after completing his school career is no secret. ÔÇ£I’m an 18-year-old athlete with the sole aspiration of becoming a cross-country world champion one day. But I am also a goal-driven individual who has other interests besides a fanatical love for speed on two wheels. I enjoy reading and writing, politics, economics and English. If I had not been a cyclist, or if my cycling career should not be successful, I would work towards becoming an engineer or a lawyer.

ÔÇ£I come from a large, academic family who find it hard to understand why anyone would want to spend hours and hours just riding a mountain bike.

ÔÇ£My mission for 2011 will be to keep life more simple.┬á I plan to train like an animal, but study a few subjects through UNISA as well to keep the brain ticking over. ÔÇ£Despite the fact that my parents stay in Cape Town, I decided to live in Hilton to be under the watchful eye of my coach, Johann Wykerd. In my opinion he is the best cycling coach in South Africa. From a mountain biking point of view, it feels as if I am living in a rider’s heaven with so many trails around Hilton, Howick and Karkloof only minutes away.ÔÇØ

Reid wisely decided that, at least this year, his main focus will be cross-country races. For that reason he will only compete in the odd marathon from time to time. It’s important for me to improve my world ranking as much as possible before the 2011 UCI MTB World Championship so that I won’t have to start right at the back.ÔÇØ