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SA cyclists chase glory
- Updated: July 26, 2011
The UCI BMX World Championships in Denmark are up and running from Wednesday and prospects are looking good for South Africa’s team riders to achieve top results.
Taking place in Copenhagen from 27-31 July , the World Championships are expected to draw close on 2000 competitors in the challenge classes, attracting many of the top European contenders ÔÇô all of them vying for the prestigious Wold Championship title.
The BMX Commission is optimistic for Kyle Dodd’s performance in the Junior Elite Men category. In the 12-year boys category, Dylan Eggar has represented South Africa in every World Championship final since 2006, and his sister Kayla is expected to rack up a top-three result in the 14-year girls category.
ÔÇ£A lot of our riders will be defending titles from last year’s World Championships ÔÇô hopefully they will be able to emulate last year’s success,ÔÇØ said BMX High Performance Commissioner Kim Stiebel. ÔÇ£It was slightly easier when the Championships took place at ‘home’, in Pietermaritzburg, and the competition will no doubt be tougher out there this year as many of the European countries are expected to be in full attendance.ÔÇØ
Five competitors will be racing in the Junior Elite and Elite categories, which means they will be racing an Olympic qualifier in this group. Kane Herbert (Elite) has been working on speed training, and transforming power into speed during his training preparations. ÔÇ£I’m feeling quite strong at the moment ÔÇô I was fortunate to test the Copenhagen track out in October last year on a training camp, and they haven’t changed the track since then! This is a great advantage for us.ÔÇØ
Elite competitor Teagan O’Keeffe’s training abroad at the UCI World Cycling Centre in Switzerland has tapered down in the lead up to Worlds in order for her body to recover and be ready to perform. ÔÇ£I have gained a lot more pedal speed and I am really feeling confident,ÔÇØ said Teagan. ÔÇ£I still have a few areas to work on but I am ready to give it my best at the world championships, but keep in mind this is not my immediate goal, my legs will still not be at their fastest and I will use this more as a training race but I am still going to go out there as go as far as I can and do my very best.ÔÇØ
Dean Holdstock (Elite) has been racing in Belgium and the USA earlier in the year, and his training has been to peak for the world champs. ÔÇ£I’m feeling ready for this and quite relaxed,ÔÇØ said Dean. ÔÇ£There will always be a case of the nerves when it is the world championships, as you are psyching yourself up for the big one, and there is only one shot at the race to determine your world ranking for the year!ÔÇØ
Holdstock commented that the start hill would present a major challenge as there is nothing quite like it on South African BMX racetracks. The eight-metre high ramp has a flat top where racers drop in and riders can reach speeds of 60km/hr as they launch from the start gate.
Junior Elite Kyle Dodd, who has just returned from a four-week training camp in Durban, is very excited. ÔÇ£Everything feels perfect,ÔÇØ commented Kyle. When asked about the anticipation of the high and fast start hill, Kyle said, ÔÇ£I have been training hard since last year. I love the supercross start hill ÔÇô I am so excited and I am going to give it my all!ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£I feel ready and I am going to do the best that I can,ÔÇØ said Junior Elite Miguel Carvalho. ÔÇ£I have been training hard for this race and it is the main event of the year for me.ÔÇØ