A small group of elite BMX racers will be representing South Africa at the first round of the 2013 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup in Manchester, United Kingdom on 19 and 20 April.
According to Cycling SA BMX Commissioner Margot Gerber, the elite racers have to participate in the 2013 supercross (SX) events in order to qualify for the World Championships. “All points earned at the UCI events will determine how many elites can be sent to the world champs in 2014,” said Gerber. “The qualification year starts from January 2013 to December 2013, so it is a long season for our riders.”
Elite racers Kyle Dodd and Godfrey Buziba and team coach Jonathan Chislett will be departing Johannesburg on Sunday 14 April and will meet compatriots Gavin Lubbe (currently based in the U.S.), Teagan O’Keeffe (currently racing in Europe) and Olympian Sifiso Nhlapo in Manchester.
The format of supercross racing is intense and action-packed, and the 8-metre start hill is one of the most talked about aspects of SX racing, not to mention a tight racing track with tight turns promoting aggressive and confident performances from all competitors. The starts and the lane selections will play a critical role in the riders’ performances.
Kyle Dodd says: “I am on a good training programme with my coach (Chislett), building on from one week to the next. I am looking forward to the first Supercross World Cup.”
After being off the supercross hill for 11 months, Teagan O’Keeffe found it a little daunting but after a few laps, the challenge and thrill of BMX Supercross all came back to her. “I am racing a European round in France this weekend and then I will catch the ferry across to Manchester with my coach to race my first Supercross of the season. Manchester is a small tight track that makes for good racing. I have been making small improvements with each race I have competed in in the USA, so I am excited and looking forward to kicking off the World Cup season.”
Gavin Lubbe is looking forward the Supercross in Manchester. “I am just getting over a wrist injury that happened while racing in Phoenix at the UCI race, but the training hasn't stopped and I am full steam ahead going into next weekend!”
Godfrey Buziba says: “I’ve been prepping this week with my coach Jonathan Chislett. I’m feeling good, not so much nervous but anxious. It’s mostly the start hill that plays around with us. I’m not scared of it, but there’s a technique to it and we don’t have anything like this at home, and we don’t have much time to practice it when we are there.”
Olympian Sifiso Nhlapo says: “I'm glad to be coming into this year injury free after the last two years of injuries. For the first time in two years I feel like myself again and look forward to the first round of the UCI BMX SX World Cups to be held in Manchester. U.K. I got a third place there last year at an event so looking forward to the race on Saturday (20th).”