In the 2010 UCI BMX World Championship in July, the hand picked South African team to be competing is being led by Sifiso Nhlapo and reinforced by other riders who hope to win world titles in their respective age groups. Nhlapo is South Africa’s hope in bagging the gold medal in the Men’s Elite category’s blue riband.
In 2008, Skizo as he is known had a superb season and proved that he’s got what it takes to win against the world’s bests after his remarkable performances in Europe. He won the bronze medal at the World Championship and placed seventh at the Olympics. However, fate robbed him of the opportunity to earn a medal due to a crash.
This year, Nhlapo is on a comeback trail. In Copenhagen, site of the latest World Cup event, Skizo was in the semi finals showing that his preparations are on the right course for the World Championships.
Dean Holdstuck who was a second away from qualifying after his time trials in Copenhagen will provide back up to Nhlapo in the Elite category. Likewise, Gavin Lubbe, who was less than a tenth of a second from qualifying in the season’s opening World Cup event in Madrid,will be joined by Kane Herbert and Jordan O’Keeffe.
Hoping for big things to come is Teagan O’Keeffe in the Junior Elite class. She is now undergoing a tough six hour a day training in Switzerland and she might just grab the gold in her category.
The Webster brothers Liam and Axel are both chosen to compete in the junior races. They are now preparing for the World Champs overseas. They will be fitted in two European national championship events for training purposes and to gain experience against top international competitors.
For South Africa, Skizo may be the toughest performer however, the veteran Sharlene McGilvray is expected to stand out more than anybody else in the South African team. Sharlene, the 51 year old mother based in Pietermaritzburg is the ranked second in the 45 plus age category for women and is seeking vengeance after losing in Australia in the 2009 World Championships. “Australian Cheryl Poynton beat me last year in front of her home crowd so I want her to be here so I can try and get my revenge in front of my home crowd this year,” she said.
The Royal Showgrounds in Pietermaritzburg will be the venue for the UCI BMX World Championships on the 29th of July to the 1st of August. For more details visit www.bmxworldchampspmb.co.za
SA team for UCI BMX World Championships:
-Elite Men: Sifiso Nhlapo; Dean Holdstock; Gavin Lubbe; Kane Herbert; Jordan O’Keeffe.
-Junior Elite: Teagan O’Keeffe; Christopher Austin.
-Veterans 30 years and over: Sharlene McGilvray.
-Senior 23-29 years: Jonnathan Chislett; Shane Coulthard.
-Under 23 (16-23 years): Lloyd Dodd; Kyle Dodd; Wayne Gerber; Nzuzo Mngadi; Godfrey Buzibo.
-Junior (10-15 years): Liam Webster; Axel Webster; Kayla Eggar; Dylan Eggar; Bryce Stiebel.