The fourth event of the inaugural Development Race Day Series 2014 took place in the Uthukela District, hosted by the Ladysmith Development Cycling Club in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal, on Saturday 18 October.
As many as 145 enthusiastic pupils representing 10 different schools in the district were eager to race against each other on the flat track, which was marked with cones. With the numbers being so high, KZN Cycling Development Officer, Tyrone Johns, and his dedicated team were grateful for Nhlanhla Thabede and his crew for filling in all the gaps. They benefitted from the help of Mukelesiwe Zwane and Milele Kubheka, who handled registrations, while all of Nhlanhla’s athletes helped set up the course and marshalled and assisted where needed.
The designated race area was dry, flat and very open, with the kids generating great speed. First up was the girls’ class; it was very exciting to see seven girls participating on the day as it is becoming increasingly challenging to find young females to participate on race day. The top three girls were Khumalo Nobuhle 1st, Zwane Nomusa 2nd and Thungo Kwanele 3rd.
Next, it was the 10-and-under boys, who tried their best, raced hard and will definitely be future stars one day. The day ended with Mlotshwa Lungelo 1st, Mdlalose Andile 2nd and Zwane Sanele 3rd.
The 12-and-under class is where the racing started to heat up and the pace got faster. BMX is a cruel sport as one slip or a fall might mean that you will not make the final race of the day. In the final heat, the podium went to Luyanda Ziqubu 1st, Bongisipho Ndlovu 2nd and Bayanda Mabaso 3rd.
The 14-and-under was the class of the day. The boys were very competitive and no one wanted to make a mistake that could cost them the chance to make the main event. There were a few falls and bad luck here and there, but the fastest riders progressed to the main event and it was time to see who the fastest 14-and-under boy was going to be. It was a very spectacular race with Nala Luthando 1st, Hlatshwayo Mseshi 2nd and Hlubi Sboniso 3rd.
The race event had made such a positive impact throughout the day that by the end of the final race there were a handful of 16-and-over young men that wanted to race to see who was the fastest. After a race was put on for them, the honour of champion went to Simphiwe Magubane followed by Bongumusa Miva and Andile Hadebe respectively.
“All-in-all it was a very busy, but great day. There was lots of fast racing action and great awareness about cycling was brought to Uthukela District, and that through cycling we all can change lives,” said Johns.
The Development Race Day Series 2014 is supported by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Sports and Recreation, Cycling South Africa and Cycling KZN. A very big thank you is also extended to Giba Gorge MTB Park for the sponsorship of the vehicle, which was so desperately needed to transport all the equipment. Thank you too to Jessica Conradie from Uthukela District Sports and Recreation for joining on the day.
The next event takes place at Giba Gorge (eThekwini District) on 25 October 2014. The weekend of racing at Giba Gorge MTB Park includes the prestigious 2014 SA BMX National Championships (25 October) and the 2014 BMX African Continental Championships (26 October) where our national riders will be able to gain valuable UCI points towards their Olympic qualification.
For further information about the Development Series Race Day, please contact KZN Cycling Development Officer, Tyrone Johns, on 083 606 6086.
Click here to view more photos from the Uthukela District Development Race on our Facebook page.