The opening round of the 2016 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup takes place this year in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, from 7-8 May. Double T1 South African National Para-cycling Time Trial & Road Race Champion, Toni Mould, is thrilled to be taking part in her second World Cup event, and looks forward to enjoying the experience with friends and family who are travelling from far and wide to come and support her.
“This will be my second World Cup, my first being last year’s World Cup in Pietermaritzburg, so the honour of wearing the South African kit is still fresh for me. Apart from that, the fact that my parents, aunt and uncle are traveling up to watch me for the first time is really special for us as a family. My family don’t live close to me so neither of them have seen me cycling in any kind of race, so for them to see me in the SA colours at a World Cup for their first time will be really special,” she said.
Mould says that she is still trying to reach her desired speeds on the trike, and would like to “really” compete with others in her class, but each competition that she does is a strive to better the performance of the one before. “Last week I had to kind of relook at my goals for this World Cup when I found out that I’ll be the only woman in my class competing. So instead of trying to beat others, I’ll have to challenge myself to go for the best time I can,” said Mould.
“There are two other World Cups overseas this year but I don’t know if I’m at that level yet. I’ll see what happens for the rest of the year. I would love to go to the overseas World Cups or even the 2017 World Champs in Pietermaritzburg, but I first have to work hard and prove myself,” she added.
When asked what part of cycling makes her happy, Mould said: “Being able to be active and challenge myself on a physical level. As I have difficulty moving around, the sense of being ‘free’ and being able to move with relative ease is a wonderful feeling.”
Although feeling that she cannot compare the hosting of a World Cup in South Africa to one overseas, as she is yet to travel to an international World Cup event, her experience of last year’s Pietermaritzburg event was described as “very special”. “It not only gives us the chance to have our nearest and dearest come and watch, but we have so much support from the home crowd. One of my dearest memories of last year was racing through the town of Pietermaritzburg in the road race and having people sitting out on their ‘stoeps’ and cheering every rider, but especially the South African riders! Even the marshals got in on the action and shouted ‘Go South Africa’ when you passed them. I am so glad we are riding that route again this year.”
Mould concluded on a very important statement: “Bringing events such as this to South Africa is so important to help break down the negative stereotypes surrounding people with disabilities as well as motivating the next generation to get involved in sport.
“Thank you to Cycling SA for the opportunity to take part and all those responsible for bringing the World Cup to South Africa.”
The opening round of the 2016 UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup takes place at Alexandra Park in Pietermaritzburg from 7-8 May. More information can be found here: http://www.cyclingsa.com/2016-uci-para-road-world-cup/.