The Pennypinchers 2015 South African Road, Time Trial and Para-cycling Championships are currently taking place in Mbombela, Mpumalanga. Elite Men and Women, Vets and even the Junior Men and Women have been making names for themselves on the road this week. One name that keeps resonating in the ears of cyclists and officials alike is Kita Uys.
Yesterday, the Time Trial events included were the Elite Men and Women, U23 Men, Junior Men and Women, and Vets Women 40-44 and 45-49.
The Road Race events included Girls U16/14/12/10, Boys U14/12/10 and the Tandem Mix. The standout of the young category winners was 10-year-old, Kita Uys from Kempton Park, Johannesburg.
This young firecracker (who had only been given a road bike the week prior to the race) was a first-timer on the road, but her BMX training and strength proved to be an advantage over the other road cyclists.
“I unfortunately was ill in bed, and couldn’t take her to this week’s event,” said her father, Dirk Uys. So I asked an employee of mine, who doesn’t know much about the sport, to take her through to Nelspruit. He literally just drove her there, and then she did all the rest, not knowing anything about road racing at all. That was her first time on a road bike, let alone in a road race.”
“The BMX community is very proud of Kita. She’s got a great future ahead of her,” said Margot Gerber, Cycling SA BMX Commission Director.
Dirk Uys, a keen cyclist as well, stressed to us the importance of starting out in the right discipline. “I was born on two wheels, and she’s been competing on a BMX since the age of four and a half. BMX is a brilliant discipline to start off in, if you look at a lot of our top cyclists today, they started on a BMX.
In July Last year, Kita got a World #8 number in the nine-year-old category at the UCI BMX World Championships in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. In October, she went on to win her category in the 2014 South African Track Championships.
Kita has a sister two years younger than her, Kyla, who is also a budding star in the making. Kyla, however, has a much more relaxed approach to her cycling. “They will both be competing in the 2015 South African Track Champs in the first week of April,” Dirk added.
When we asked her how she felt to have claimed titles like these at such a young age, she responded with, “Lekker!” Her training during the week is on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, and BMX races on Sundays. Although she is loyal to her BMX roots, she has had to cut her training down to one day a week, as she wants to now focus on South African Track Champs in the first week of April. She still races BMX on Sundays, but also trains or competes at the velodrome on Saturdays.
Dirk says Kita isn’t a sore loser at all, and, although she’s yet to get an SA #1 for BMX, she is still as motivated and determined as ever.