Five of South Africa’s BMX riders triumphed at the recent 2014 UCI BMX World Championships in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, when they returned home with six collective World Numbers in their respective categories.
The five-day competition, which ran from 23-27 July, kicked off with the 20” and Cruiser classes, which saw both our selected national team riders and privateers battle it out through each round.
Current National Champion in the Cruiser and 20” and National coach, Tyrone Johns, was the first to grab a World Number when he won the 20” Challenge Class in the Men 30+ category, claiming a World Number 1 on Wednesday, 23 July. Johns followed this up with a World Number 2 in the Cruiser Men’s 30-34 class on Friday 25 July.
It was also the turn of the youngsters, when Connor Terblanche claimed a World Number 3 in the Cruiser Boys 12-years-and-under class, and young Kita Uys claimed a World Number 8 in the 20” Girls 9-years class.
Veteran racer William Jackson progressed to the final run where he finished in 6th place to claim a World Number 6 in the Cruiser Men 45+ class, while Kane Herbert claimed a World Number 7 in the Cruiser Men 25-29 class.
The Elite racing took to the stage on Saturday and Sunday, 26-27 July, where our South African riders gave it a good go. Kyle Dodd finished 5th in the qualifying round, which ousted him from the competition, resulting in a 73rd place finish overall. Sifiso Nhlapo was bumped out of the competition in the 1/4 Finals, where he finished in 6th place. Nhlapo looked set to post a good result during his run, but was pushed out wide in the final corner and he dropped a few places. He finished in 21st place in the overall results. Australia’s Sam Willoughby claimed the Elite Men’s World Championship title.
South Africa’s Elite Woman hopeful, Teagan O’Keeffe, suffered a nasty crash during practice, and did not compete in the competition. What was initially reported as broken ribs, turned out to be a broken collarbone and punctured lungs as well. We wish Teagan a speedy recovery! Colombian Mariana Pajon claimed the Elite Women’s World Championship title.
Alex Limberg competed in the Junior Men’s race, and progressed to the 1/8 Finals before being eliminated. Limberg finished 42nd in the overall results. Local Dutch rider Niek Kimmaan claimed the Junior World Championship title. Junior woman racer Maia Rawlins qualified in the time trial, but was forced to withdraw after sustaining an injury during practice. Her finishing result was 28th overall. The Junior Women’s World Championship title went to Domenica Gonzalez from Ecuador.
According to the UCI (International Cycling Union), the 2014 UCI BMX World Championships was the largest BMX World Championships to date, with a record number of participants – 2860 riders from 43 countries throughout five days of racing. The riders took to the 309-metre track that was built in the Ahoy Arena in Rotterdam after four days of non-stop of construction work and tens of trailers and trucks of sand, cobbles, rubble and more.
Photo credit: Craigdutton.com