Hilton-based youngster looks towards Olympics

2011-12-03 00:00

JAMES Reid, one of South Africa’s brightest young bicycle racing talents, who has been based in Hilton and racing for the Mr Price/BMC team this season under the guidance of Johan Wykerd, has been snapped up by Nedbank Team 360Life professional cycling team for 2012.

Reid joins two of SA’s most accomplished professional racers, Kevin Evans and David George, on a team who have had a hugely successful first year in 2011.

Racing in his first year as an under-23, Reid captured the 2011 titles of the African Continental Cross-country and the South African National Series Cross-country, a rare achievement for a rider fresh out of the junior ranks.

In 2010 he finished 11th at the Junior Cross-country World Championships in Canada.

Lance Blumeris, the managing director of Nedgroup Life, said, “James is a very exciting 19-year-old, who has excelled at his preferred discipline, being cross-country racing.

“The ability of Nedbank Team 360Life to integrate him into an existing team of two of South Africa’s top professional cyclists is critical in harnessing his current abilities and enabling his future success within the sport.”

Reid will continue to focus on cross-country racing, the only Olympic discipline of mountain bike racing.

George, winner of the 2011 MTN National Marathon Series, and Evans, a four-time South African marathon champion, continue to team up with a key focus on marathons and stage races in 2012, including their quest to be the first South African team to win the Cape Epic.

Reid said,“At my age I need to be careful and stay away from the long-distance marathon and stage races as it will compromise the explosive speed and power needed for the shorter, more intense nature of cross-country racing. I am incredibly excited to be working with David and Kevin, as well as to be part of the professional support structure of Nedbank Team 360Life.

“I know that many cyclists do not have the same opportunity at this stage of their careers, but it is an opportunity that I hope to use to become world class.”

The Sani Transfrontier MTB Epic takes place today from Sani Pass Hotel in Underberg. This unique ride gives riders the opportunity to ride the famous and scenic Sani Pass with the choice of a 42 km ride or 26 km ride.

The Virginia Trails Xmas Fun Ride takes place tomorrow and promises to be a great day out for the entire family.

With the emphasis on festive cheer, prizes will be awarded for the best-dressed festive rider.

So get creative, forget about timing and racing, and enjoy a ride through spectacular MTB terrain.

Virginia Trails has 60 km of farm trails with eight kilometres of single track that incorporates all that mountain biking and hiking enthusiast could ask for. Safe and fully marked, the trails are designed to accommodate all ages and fitness levels.

Come and enjoy Eston hospitality at its best — catering and bar available. Jumping castles will also be up to entertain the little ones.

The start and finish are about 300 metres away from the admin, food and toilet facilities so it is recommended that spectators come armed with deck chairs.

There will be no vehicle access to the start/finish area. For inquires call Pete Stainbank at 083 781 1042.

The second annual Kids Mountain Bike Camp will once again be held in Hilton, from December 13 to 15 for boys and girls aged between 10 and 13 years old.

The event follows a holiday camp format and is not a serious training camp, but offers the children the opportunity to learn something about mountain biking and have fun while doing so.

Children will be required to have their own mountain bikes in good working order and helmets (although arrangements can be made for children needing assistance); all other necessities and daily food will be provided.

The cost is R290 for all three days from 8.30 am to 12.30 pm each day and includes a camp pack for each child.

Entry forms can be found and handed in at Cycle Lab Pietermaritzburg at 39 Chief Albert Luthili Street. Go to www.chriswolhuter.com for further information. Entries are limited.

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