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Youth Olympian Rawlins rates new Giba Gorge track tops
- Updated: September 29, 2014
South Africa’s 2014 Youth Olympian Maia Rawlins has given the thumbs up for the new Giba Gorge Supercross combination track set to be used for African Continental BMX Championships in KwaZulu-Natal next month, writes Mark Etheridge.
The course features an eight-metre high start ramp and straight into a 11.5m jump, then into a 10.5m jump and into a 13m step up-step down.
Rawlins, a Grade 11 pupil at Thomas More College in Kloof, KZN was part of Team South Africa at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China in August.
‘The new combination track is definitely one of a kind! It has both a five and an eight-metre hill and I must say the first time I went down that 8m hill I was a little scared,’ she told Road to Rio 2016. But once I got used to it I could really feel myself improving and preparing for the international level of racing. It is the first ever Supercross track built in Africa and this will be its first national event. So very exciting times are coming,’ she added.
‘This track is one of the smoothest tracks I have ever ridden and the rhythm straights flow very well and personally I would say that it is the best track in South Africa. It is an honour to be able to ride and train on a world class track like this one! Everyday I can feel myself improving by training on this high level track. I couldn’t be luckier to be able to call this track my home!
‘A lot of hard work and effort was put into building this track by many people and the result is immaculate.’
Rawlins is also firmly of the opinion that tracks like this will be hugely beneficial to BMX in South Africa. ‘I’m sure this track will develop our riders to prepare us for the higher level of international competitions.’
Also, all the World Cup rounds are held on Supercross tracks to it’s vital for SA BMX’ers to get comfortable with the experience.
She’s been training on the course since May this year before an injury mishap. ‘I rode it for about three-four weeks but then I crashed and broke my wrist just before World Champs so I was out for six weeks. After Worlds was the Youth Olympic Games which was run off a five-metre hill so I focused on that rather than training on the 8m hill. So I haven’t ridden the Supercross side In quite a while but I will be back on it in my off-season!
‘I’ve never ridden any other Supercross track, so I can’t tell how our Supercross track compares to any other tracks but the rest of the track is up there with the best. I have ridden a few international tracks (normal BMX tracks) and I must say Giba Gorge has it all.
‘Giba also has a coating on top of the track called Soiltac which has made the surface very hard and extremely smooth. So when you ride on the track it feels effortless. I haven’t seen many other tracks with that level of quality. It was also built by a very well known track builder, Tom Ritz who has built many international Supercross tracks, most of which are being used in the World Cup Series.’
Picture: Tyrone Johns