Alberton local and top ranked Elite Men BMX racer Kyle Dodd and KwaZulu-Natal’s 16 and Over Girls racer Maia Rawlins raced to victory when they claimed the South African Elite BMX Championship titles at a cold and windy Alrode BMX Track in Alberton on Sunday.
For Dodd, who had won all his local races in the SA BMX Grand National Series throughout the year, he came into Saturday’s fifth and final Leg at the top of the log. A crash in a provincial race just before the Grand Nationals and SA Champs saw him injure his thumb, but none of this mattered on the race days.
“My hand was good and I had no problems the whole weekend,” said Dodd.
“I only lost my first race, the wind was really hectic on the track, and I came second. But after that, my laps were perfect and my gates were good. Nothing went wrong,” said the 19-year-old.
It is Dodd’s first time that he achieves the status of being the SA National Champion since he started racing as an Elite in 2010, at age 16. Dodd also successfully defended his SA Grand Nationals title, the culmination of the 5 rounds that were raced during the course of the year.
Cowies Hill resident Maia Rawlins had a great weekend, achieving her goal of becoming SA BMX Champion. Rawlins was on top form and won all of her heats throughout the weekend.
“I had been winning by quite a few bike lengths all weekend,” said Rawlins. “But I didn’t get the best gate for the final, and Stacey Bryant came under me in the first corner.
“I was strong along the second straight all weekend, and that was really good for me. I kept on pushing hard and it really paid off, because by the time I reached the finish I had won by a few bike lengths.”
Rawlins will now work hard in the off-season, putting in some base training and focusing on the aspects of her racing that she needs to improve, while Dodd will take a short break before he resumes his off-season training at the brand new world-class Supercross track facility at Giba Gorge in KwaZulu-Natal.
World number 2 in both the 30-39 Men Cruiser and 20” 25 and over categories, Tyrone Johns (Giba Cycling Club), continued strong form and achieved his goal to claim the SA Champs title in both categories, while Kane Herbert (Alrode BMX Club) also achieved a double-whammy with his dominant performances in both the 16-29 Men Cruiser and 17-24 categories. World number 7 Alex Dolman (Kempton Park BMX Club), competing in the 13 Boys category, made a clean sweep to win his race and Tyler Muller (Queensburgh BMX Club) claimed the national title in the 16 Boys class.
Kempton Park BMX Club rider Kaylin Smith, competing in the 9-12 Girls class, was dominant in her performance on Sunday, earning the SA Champs title.
Racing in the 14 Boys category, Dylan Eggar (Queensburgh BMX Club) continued a 9-year long run of successful championship races to earn his ninth straight SA Champs title!
Click here to view the full results – SA BMX Championships
Photo: Jackie Bossert O'Shea