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Maris to miss SA event
- Updated: March 25, 2011
The title race in the season-opening UCI BMX Supercross World Cup in Pietermaritzburg next month has been thrown wide with world champion Maris Strombergs confirming he will not be able to compete due to injuries he sustained in a recent BMX crash.
‘The Machine’, as Strombergs is more commonly known as within BMX circles, broke a bone in his hand, dislocated his wrist and damaged ligaments in his shoulder when he crashed out of the ABA Grands late last year.
He underwent surgery on his hand and wrist on the same day of his accident and then on his shoulder a month later. However Strombergs has not recovered sufficiently to be able to take his place on the startline in Pietermaritzburg on 8 April, and has a little way to go before he can start contemplating racing again.
“My shoulder is feeling a lot better and isn’t bothering me at all anymore but my arm is still in a cast and the little bone in my hand isn’t healing as fast as I would like it to! My cast comes off shortly though and I’ll start therapy on my wrist and shoulder at the same time,” explained Strombergs.ÔÇ¿ÔÇ¿ “Its frustrating not being able to ride my bike, I’m really starting to miss racing and that feeling you get when you’re standing on the gates or as you cross the finish line but I guess I’ve just got to try stay patient and focus on getting fit again!” he added.
“It’s hard to tell at the moment how long I’ll be out for but I’ll definitely miss the first two Supercross races. Getting back on the bike is one thing but being ready to race is another altogether,’ said ‘The Machine’.
“The plan at this stage is to be ready to race at the World’s again where I’ll try defend my title. Hopefully things go well though and who knows, maybe I can be back a little sooner than that,” he added.
With the widely feared Latvian being out of the Pietermaritzburg event, along with local hero Sifiso Nhlapo, many of the two Olympic finalists’ nearest rivals will be eager to take advantage of this golden opportunity and get their seasons off on a positive note.
“Marc Willers is riding really well of late and there are a couple of the French guys who have been doing well too but I have to go with Sam Willoughby for the win in Pietermaritzburg!” said a confident Strombergs. “He is probably the most consistent rider out there and you can never count him out.”
Despite not being able to take part in the Supercross in ‘Sleepy Hollow’ this time round, Strombergs fondly remembers the crowds and their enthusiasm from last year’s World Champs. “The crowd was awesome! There were more people than I expected and they were really loud which as athletes we really enjoy because it definitely gives us an extra boost of energy!”
“I love Supercross races! There is always a great atmosphere around them and they’re awesome events to be a part of so not to be able to compete in the Pietermaritzburg event is very disappointing for me,” said Strombergs.
“Pietermaritzburg is where I won my second World Elite title so it will always be a special place for me and I would have loved to have come back again this year, however with my injuries and all the doctors appointments and therapy sessions that I now have ahead of me unfortunately that just isn’t possible.”
“I’ll definitely be watching the race on Freecaster and cheering for all my fellow Latvians though!” he added.
The Pietermaritzburg leg of the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup takes place at Alexander Park on 8-9 April.ÔÇ¿ÔÇ¿ More information can be found at www.bmxworldcupsa.co.za