South African BMX competitors Teagan O’Keeffe, Kyle Dodd and Alex Limberg are feeling ready for the opening round of the 2015 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup season in Manchester (Great Britain) from 18-19 April.
The two young men in the team – Dodd (21) and Limberg (18) – departed from Johannesburg last night with their coach Jonnathan Chislett, who will be on hand to support the riders in their quest for UCI points for Olympic qualification for Rio 2016. O’Keeffe (22) will be meeting with the team in Manchester.
Two-time South African Champion, Dodd, has barely returned from the United States where he competed in two events, and he is off again for another international competition.
“I left home on 14 February and did my first race in Phoenix, Arizona,” said Dodd. “My race didn't go according to plan, and I didn’t make it to the quarters.”
Dodd then spent some time with compatriot Gavin Lubbe in California for a month, putting in some solid training ahead of the race in Rock Hill, South Carolina.
“I worked really hard and felt really comfortable on the track. It took me a while to get the track dialled in. I did well in the qualies with a fourth and two second places, making it to the quarterfinals. This was something new for me, but unfortunately the racing didn’t go so well from there, and I finished 8th.”
Getting closer to his goals, Dodd is feeling optimistic ahead of this weekend’s World Cup. “I’m hoping to make it to the races on Sunday. Saturday is for qualifying only, so my main goal is to get to race on Sunday – that’s where the UCI points for Olympics lie.”
Since arriving back in South Africa last week Tuesday, Dodd has sent some quality time at the Giba Gorge Supercross track to fine-tune the 8-metre start hill, synonymous with the Supercross discipline. “Sending as much time as I needed at Giba allowed me to get some good practice in. At least I don't have to relearn everything when faced with the start hill when I get to Manchester.”
The National Cycling Centre in Manchester will be hosting the UCI Supercross World Cup for the third time and the indoor track has undergone further developments since the 2014 event. The facility is a purpose built indoor BMX track and sits alongside a new mountain bike trail and Manchester’s famous velodrome as the home of British Cycling.