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SA duo show promise
- Updated: July 31, 2011
Saturday was the big day for the South African BMX team at the 2011 UCI BMX World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark ÔÇô Elite Finals day.
After rain had been predicted all week for Saturday’s competition, it stayed away to present a lovely hot day and perfect conditions for racing.
ÔÇ£We had much anticipation for today with Teagan O’Keeffe and Kyle Dodd looking really good in the warm-up, so we were hopeful of a good day,ÔÇØ said South Africa’s BMX High Performance Commissioner Kim Stiebel.
Teagan finished in sixth, fifth and fifth places in her heat races ÔÇô racing was highly competitive and fiercely contested with little difference between the riders’ times. ┬áTeagan had the second straight dialled and fought hard to make up for her poor track position ÔÇô she had Lieke Klaus in her heat and was always trying to find a way around her, as she was faster on the track.
ÔÇ£Klaus progressed to the final, which really showed that Teagan was right up there with the pace ÔÇô a couple of stronger gates and she would have gone a long way,ÔÇØ commented Stiebel. ┬áÔÇ£Unfortunately, she did not make the semi-finals. ┬áTeagan’s riding has improved tremendously this year and the hard work she is putting in the UCI World Cycling Centre is certainly paying off.ÔÇØ
In the Junior Elite Men category, Dodd was in good form. He led his first lap all the way to the last turn when a Colombian rider cut across the track, interfering with Dodd’s racing line mid-corner. Dodd maintained his composure and managed to finish third. ┬áIn heat two, while battling for second place down the second straight, Dodd was unceremoniously pushed off the track by a French rider but again managed to hold his composure for sixth place. ┬áKyle progressed to the quarter and semi-finals, unfortunately starting the latter in gate eight, and finished fifth in his run.
ÔÇ£Kyle can be very happy with the way he rode and what he achieved today,ÔÇØ said Stiebel. ┬áÔÇ£He is the first South African since Sifiso Nhlapo to make a semi-final at the World Championships in Junior Men. With another year in the junior category, I am sure he will be targeting the Final next year.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£The racing in general was extremely fast as the track had dried out nicely after the rain earlier in the week,ÔÇØ said Kim. ┬áÔÇ£However there were some heavy falls by riders with a few broken bones as well, notably Corben Sharrah of the USA, who won the Supercross event in South Africa in April. ┬áCorben fractured his femur after having nowhere to go when Thomas Hamon lost control.ÔÇØ
After Saturday’s excitement, the team turns their focus to the ÔÇ£CruiserÔÇØ racing on Sunday ÔÇô the last day of the World Championships. ┬áThe South African BMX team is hoping for a good day of racing to add to their two World numbers achieved on Day One.