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Teagan, Sifiso ace Top 10 finishes in Argentina
- Updated: May 14, 2013
Ace 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 but fellow South African Kyle Dodd is out of action after a nasty crash at the same event.
O’Keeffe ended the weekend by placing fifth in the final while Nhlapo took sixth spot.
South Africa’s only elite women representative on the BMX world stage, KwaZulu-Natal’s O’Keeffe 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 fifth 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: ÔÇ£I am very happy with my fifth 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.ÔÇØ
Two-time Olympian Sifiso ÔÇ£SkizoÔÇØ 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 sixth place in the main.
Nhlapo said: ÔÇ£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 sixth. 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.ÔÇØ
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.
ÔÇ£This is the furthest I’ve got 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.ÔÇØ 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 15-16 June.