‘Winning race is an awesome feeling’

2012-11-19 00:00

SOUTH Coast teen prodigy Wade Young rode off with the Roof of Africa title on Saturday.

On his way to victory in the gruelling three-day race held in Lesotho, the talented 16-year-old motorcross rider beat his hero and the competition’s defending champion, Graham Jarvis (37) from the United Kingdom, who finished third.

Second place went to South African Altus de Wet (27).

“I never thought I’d beat Graham,” Paddock resident Wade told The Witness, adding that he’d watched YouTube videos of Jarvis in action to prepare for the race.

“Winning the race is an awesome feeling. I set my goal, and that was to win. I pulled through and that feels great,” Wade added.

He said he had trained the entire year, also taking part in swimming races to build up his stamina. His plan was to take part in the European pro series when he was older.

His chuffed dad, Nigel, said the family was overwhelmed by his son’s win.

“We’re battling to comprehend what he has done.

“He set out to win and we told him ‘calm down bru, concentrate on a top five finish’. He’s gone out there and won,” said Nigel.

“We’re very proud of him. He set out at 4 am every morning to go and train. He’d cycle, he’d run, he’d skip. He said he was going to win, and he won it.”

He quipped that he hoped his son would put as much effort into his school work as he did in his riding.

The race began on Thursday with a parade through Maseru, followed by a 60 km time trial which determined the starting places for Friday’s 245 km stage.

At the end of the day, Wade was 10 minutes ahead of everyone else, becoming the youngest rider ever to win a section.

He maintained his advantage through to the finish.

The race is described as southern Africa’s toughest endurance race and was won nine times by motorcross legend Alfie Cox.

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