The 2015 UCI BMX World Championships kick off tomorrow in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium, and run from 21-25 July. Some of South Africa’s greatest BMX riders are competing this year, and the excitement before the event is growing intensely.
16-Year Boys’ rider, Dylan Eggar (Queensburgh BMX Club KZN), who started BMX riding at the young age of three, has been in love with the sport ever since. “I take my experiences from the previous year and with my training, I apply all of this to the new year and focus on what I need to do. This builds up anticipation because I know I will not make the same mistake as the previous year,” he said.
Eggar hopes to finish with a podium spot in the next NAG series event this year, and would love to make his country proud in Belgium by bringing home a world number.
“Just know, I am going to make the BMX community proud,” he concluded.
Elite Women’s rider, Teagan O’Keeffe is finally feeling back to herself after a year of many ups and downs. “I feel good. I have had a lot of setbacks this year so it has been frustrating, but I feel that I am finally gaining momentum from all my training and the ‘hard yards’ that I’ve been putting in,” she said.
In terms of training and preparation for World Champs, O’Keeffe had this to say: “I am currently training at the SQY (Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines) Training Centre in Paris – it is the headquarters of the French Cycling Federation, which caters for cycling disciplines such as BMX, Velodrome and Road. It has the most technically demanding BMX track around, and I am really lucky to be here putting in the final preparations before the World Championships in Belgium.
“I have been riding BMX from the age of five, although I did try Velodrome and competed in a few events many years ago. I also competed in the mountain bike events at the Youth Olympics in Singapore in 2010, but BMX racing is where my passion lies,” she said.
O’Keeffe spoke about her goals for this year, and said that she hopes to get to a point where she has regained all of her strength and confidence, thereby ensuring a Rio qualification.
13-14 Expert rider, Connor Terblanche (Alrode BMX Club Gauteng) is enjoying the time being spent on the Belgian track. “I am enjoying the track and love the technical aspect of the track. It forces me to concentrate on every inch of soil and that’s what BMX is all about,” he said.
His father and manager to the South African team, Jakes Terblanche, says that there is a great energy within the group. “The team is in good spirits and ready to go and take on the world’s best! We start tomorrow with the little ones (7-10) and in the afternoon the 11-14-year-olds. Our youngest rider is Deagan McCallum (7) and our oldest is Tim O’Brien (40),” he said.
For more information about the 2015 UCI BMX World Championships, click here: http://www.bmxzolder.be/wkbmx/en/