Fracture didn’t break his dream

2014-08-30 00:00

A PIETERMARITZBURG cyclist who was inspired to try the sport after watching cycling tournaments hosted in the city is in Europe to represent South Africa.

Andrew Martin, a 17-year-old Maritzburg College matriculant, grew up watching and participating in the local tournament. Little did he know he would be among seven downhill riders selected to participate at the 2014 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Norway.

After breaking his leg five months prior to selections and missing the SA national series, he was doubtful if he would make the cut.

“I broke my tibia and was out for three months. With my broken leg, I thought I wouldn’t have enough points to qualify. I have been working hard and I’m super excited that I got selected,” said Andrew.

“My family, friends and teachers are happy and have been supportive.”

He has participated in many major events such as African Championships in Cape Town and South African Championships in Johannesburg where he ­obtained 12th and third positions respectively.

“When I watched the first World Cup taking place here, I started to get the passion. I have been biking since Grade 8. I’m nervous but the main thing is that I try.”

Andrew left on Thursday, along with local riders and fellow downhillers Gregg Brown, Greg Minnaar and Tiaan Odendaal.

He will be training the whole week and is set to compete tomorrow.

He is as committed to his academics as he is to riding. As he’ll be away for about 10 days, he could miss a couple of trial exams.

“I will just have to catch up,” he said.

After matric, he is jetting off to Europe to race in the IXS series and some other big events.

His father, Keith, said: “We are extremely excited. Our whole family is very supportive.

“We are always there to help him with lifts up the mountain and support him in whatever way he needs us to.”

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