South Africa’s top BMX stars will be competing for National and African Championship status in the 2014 SA BMX National Championships takes place and 2014 UCI African BMX Continental Championships, taking place at Giba Gorge, KwaZulu-Natal, on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 October respectively.
The SA Champs has received 162 entries, while the African Continental Champs has received 144 local entries. Of those, eight SA Elite Men and five SA Elite Women will take to the centre stage. In addition, ten riders will represent Zimbabwe, and two Elite Men will represent Uganda.
With five Elite women racing, this will be the first time that they can compete in the “Elite Women” class and earn UCI points! Previously, with less than 5 riders, these women would race in the 15-and-over super class, and they would not earn UCI points.
Current SA Elite Champion, Kyle Dodd (Alrode BMX Club), will be on the hunt for his second National title after securing his first title at the 2013 SA Champs, his first title since he started racing as an Elite in 2010 at age 16. Dodd finished fifth in the qualifying round at the UCI World Champs in Rotterdam in July, which ousted him from the competition, resulting in a 73rd place finish overall.
Alex Limberg (Alrode BMX Club) attended the 2014 Youth Olympic Games, where he finished in fourth place in the final heat of his competition. Alex has been racing for the past 10 years, and his personal best was being SA1 in the 15 year Expert category and All African Champion in the same year. His best international race result was finishing in the 1/8 Finals in the Junior Men category at the 2014 BMX World Champs. He finished 42nd in the overall results.
Current SA Elite No.2, Godfrey Buziba (Germiston BMX Club) has been racing for the past 17 years and is relishing the chance to give it his all on the Supercross track this weekend.
Bryce Stiebel (Giba Gorge BMX Club) has been racing for 15 years, and is currently the SA Elite No.5.
Kane Herbert is currently the World no.7 in the 25-29 Cruiser 24” class. This weekend, he will be racing in the Junior/Elite category for UCI points. Kane achieved a double-whammy at the 2013 SA Champs with his dominant performances in both the 16-29 Men Cruiser and 17-24 categories.
The Junior/Elite Men’s class also includes Dylan Whittle, Alex Goncalves and Themba Hlope. Multiple Champion and London 2012 Olympian, Sifiso Nhlapo, will not be racing this weekend.
Maia Rawlins (Giba Gorge BMX Club) is the current SA Champion, and has been racing for only four years. She attended the 2014 Youth Olympic Games and, like Alex Limberg, finished fourth in her final heat. She achieved her goal of becoming SA BMX Champion in 2013. Maia was on top form and won all of her heats throughout the weekend. Maia Rawlins qualified in the time trial at the World Champs in Rotterdam in July, but was forced to withdraw after sustaining an injury during practice. She crashed because of a puncture she received due to bits of broken glass on the track! Her finishing result was 28th overall.
The Junior/Elite Women’s class also includes Stacey Bryant, Anita Zenani, Paige Muller and Kayla Eggar.
Teagan O’Keeffe will not be racing this weekend as she has only recently started training again after a bad crash earlier in the season. Her World Champs dreams were dashed when she crashed in the practice round at the 2014 UCI BMX World Championships in Rotterdam earlier this year. It was reported that she broke her collarbone and punctured her lungs.
In the non-Elite categories, categories Tyrone Johns (Giba Gorge BMX Club) will be defending his National title in the Cruiser and 20” classes. Johns claimed a World Number when he won the 20” Challenge Class in the Men 30+ category, claiming a World Number 1, and followed this up with a World Number 2 in the Cruiser Men’s 30-34 class at the World Champs in Rotterdam in July. He has raced BMX bicycles since the young age of four, first competing in the Elite category in 1997. He represented SA for the ninth time at the BMX World Champs in Rotterdam in July.
Dylan Eggar (Queensburgh BMX Club) competes in the U15 Expert class. He is the current SA No.1. Racing in the 14 Boys category at the 2013 SA Champs, Dylan continued a 9-year long run of successful championship races to earn his ninth straight SA Champs title!
Connor Terblanche (Kempton Park BMX Club) competes in the U12 Expert class and is the current SA No.1. He claimed a World No.3 in the Cruiser Boys 12-years-and-under class at the World Champs in Rotterdam in July. At the 2013 SA Champs, Connor won all his heats in the 11 Boys group to claim the National title. He had also won the 2012 National Champs in the 10 Boys category, and will certainly looking to repeat this feat on Saturday.
Kita Uys (Kempton Park BMX Club) is currently in the U8 Expert class and has been racing for 5 years already. She is currently the World No.8 in the 20” Girls 9-years class!
Many more accomplished riders will be battling it out for top honours this weekend. Saturday and Sunday’s race events will be streamed live on streamit360.tv, so don’t miss out on the action!
The 2014 UCI African Continental Championships is the first of three Continental Championship events to take place in KwaZulu-Natal in a four-month period. Cycling South Africa has secured the 2015 African Continental Track Cycling Championships (21-25 January) and the 2015 African Continental Road Cycling Championships (9-14 February) in the City of Pietermaritzburg, further cementing the on going plans in place with KwaZulu-Natal Government and the Department of Sport and Recreation in support of the city as the African UCI Bike City.