South African BMX riders achieved five world numbers at the recent 2015 UCI BMX World Championships at the Cirque de Zolder BMX track at Heusden, Belgium from 21-25 July 2015.
“The track is a big, wide and very technical track. With a record number of entries at close to 3200 riders, this World Championship was the biggest to date,” says Championship class Team Manager, Jakes Terblanche.
Tuesday began with the 5-10 year olds competing in their qualifying motos. Of the four South African riders participating, Kita Uys, her sister Kyla and Marco Cherti made it through to the knockout finals later that day. Kyla claimed a 5th place finish in the semis of the Girls 8-years class, which unfortunately knocked her out of the Final, denying her a world number.
The 11-14 years raced in the afternoon, and there were six South African riders competing. Four riders, Kaylin Smith, Ethan Goveia, Georgina Grassie and Connor Terblanche made it through to the knockout finals, with Terblanche progressing all the way to the Final, claiming a World Number 5, the first World Number for South Africa in the Championship.
Riders aged 15 to 30+ competed on Wednesday, with Kane Herbert, Tyrone Johns, and Dylan Eggar progressing to the Final. Herbert was knocked out in the semi-fnial, and Eggar and Johns earned another two World plates for South Africa.
Eggar had an unfortunate fall when the rider next to him brought him down in a crash, resulting in a seventh place finish to claim the World No. 7 plate.
“I am very proud to have made the final and it has come with a prize – I have been asked to race for Staystrong Factory Racing Team,” he said. Eggar reiterated that hard work and dedication pays off, and thanked his coaches for helping him to get where he is.
Johns, defending World Champion in the Men 30+ Category finished in 8th place after a crash earlier in the day, which left him with a badly hurt left hand. His X-rays revealed no broken bones, which is always a relief to any cyclist. “It was not the greatest Worlds for me but hey, that’s how it goes sometimes. I will come back stronger,” he said.
On Thursday, it was the turn of the 24” wheels or more commonly known as the Cruisers. This field had the largest recorded entry list in history for the Cruiser category. South Africa’s nine riders took to the track with high hopes, with six of them progressing to the quarterfinals and five riders going through to the Semis.
Tim O’Brien (Men 40-44 Years) and Ethan Goveia (12-and-under Men) came oh so close by placing 5th and Terblanche placing 6th, unfortunately not making it through to the Final.
Lauren Coetzee and Kane Herbert both secured their starting place in the Final, proudly claiming World Numbers in the process – Coetzee finished in 5th place in the Girls 16-and-under Cruiser Women class while Herbert finished on the podium with a 3rd place in the 25-29 Cruiser Men.
Due to unfavourable weather conditions, the start times of the Elite races were slightly altered, which gave the riders shorter training sessions. The start gate, reserved for the Elite riders, was also not utilised due to the deteriorating weather. This resulted in Tyler Klumper and Teagan O’Keefe going straight through to 1/8th finals in the wet and cold weather due to their time trial seedings of 64th and 28th respectively. O’Keeffe finished in fifth place, and Klumper in seventh.
In the race report from the weekend, Jakes Terblanche said: “The support team consisted of parents and riders filling in positions to assist the team during competition as well as keeping all the loved ones up to date back in South Africa. A huge thank you goes out to the following people:
Travis Goveia – Team Manager Challenge Class
Phil Ellse – Team Manager’s Assistant
Dirk Uys – Team Manager’s Assistant
Stefan Coetzee – Team Manager’s Assistant
Tyrone Johns – Coach
Kane Herbert – Coach
Tim O’Brien – Mechanic
From the entire team, we would like to thank BMX SA, Friends and Family for all the messages of support and encouragement for the team. “
Summary of Results – 2015 UCI BMX Championship
Challenge 20” Wheel Class
World No.5 – Connor Terblanche (13 Boys)
World No.7 – Dylan Eggar (16 Boys)
World No.8 – Tyrone Johns (Men 30+)
Cruiser 24” Wheel Class
World No.3 – Kane Herbert (25-29 Cruiser Men)
World No.5 – Lauren Coetzee (16-and-under Cruiser Women)
For more information about the 2015 UCI BMX World Championships, click here: http://www.bmxzolder.be/wkbmx/en/