Nhlapo gears up for 2013 season
South African BMX star and Team MTN-Qhubeka rider, Sifiso Nhlapo, has embarked on a journey to the United States in preparation for his first race of the 2013 BMX season, ABA Round in Phoenix from from March 1-3.
Nhlapo has remarkable achievements by finishing as VICE-Champion in the 2008 European BMX championship having won several rounds against a top international field and being one of the most consistent riders in the European Championship in 2008. Making history and forming part of the eight riders to race in the first Olympic BMX final in at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the 21-year-old South African at the time crashed in the second turn while in medal contention.
Nhlapo said before leaving for the US: “I want to be consistent all season-long and come into the world champs refreshed having overcome my injury problems. Coming into the year having healed and injuring-free is a huge relief and allows me to focus on what I have to do come the competitive race time.”
In 2009, Nhlapo achieved six straight victories in Europe setting a new record and then disaster struck for the young rider when he broke his neck. After 10 months off and an intensive rehabilitation regime the young South African bounced back with an incredible silver medal at the 2010 World Championships in front of a home crowd in Pietermaritzburg.
Two years later saw the MTN-Qhubeka rider sidelined once again with an ACL injury but against all odds, the young South African BMX rider bounced back and qualified for the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Ryan Gould, MTN SA General Manager: Brand and Communications says: “MTN is thrilled about the upcoming BMX season and Skizo’s participation in these races and we remain proud of the success he has enjoyed over the years. We are very proud to be associated with such a young, talented and focused rider and his success story displays our continued commitment to profile cycling not just as a lifestyle but also as an endurance sport.”
“We wish him all the best in the 2013 international races and during his competitive upcoming trip to the US. The success story of the talented Skizo continues to inspire youngsters who wish to partake in the sport and provides the dream of potentially unlocking vast opportunities for up and coming cyclists in South Africa and in the entire continent,” Gould concluded.
Nhlapo will be competing in all the US ABA National series rounds, the full UCI SX Season and BMX World Championships to be held in New Zealand in July this year.
“My goals going into the 2013 season are to stay healthy and be consistent throughout the UCI World Cup Series the ABA National Series and to be at a good level at World Champs in New Zealand. It's been a good few months of training a preparing for the race season to start. I think I have done everything in my power to make sure I'm prepared,” said Nhlapo.
Sifiso forms part of the MTN-Qhubeka Pro Cycling Team which has just made history as being the first African team to register as a Pro Continental Cycling Team with the vision to mobilize 1 000 000 kids on Qhubeka bicycles and goal to compete in the Tour De France in 2015.
Due to his extensive international racing calendar, Sifiso currently bases himself out of the United States under the watchful eye of his coach Herve Krebs. As double Olympian, former Cruizer JNR World champion, Silver & Bronze Medalist at Elite World Championships and a multiple South African and African Champion Sifiso is confident that his 2013 season will be a filled with some great results.