Zanele wins place in Swiss camp

2016-06-09 06:00
 Zanele Tshoko will be racing in Europe.

Zanele Tshoko will be racing in Europe.

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Khayelitsha road cyclist Zanele Tshoko has been invited by the International Cycling Union to take part in the African Women’s Cycling Team Training Camp in Switzerland.

The camp, from 9 June to 1 August will enable Tshoko to take part in a number of European races.

Tshok said: “Something like this only comes around once in a lifetime. It means a lot, and it’s a great opportunity that I intend on grabbing with both hands.”

She began cycling at the age of 12, joining a safe cycling programme introduced by Velokhaya Life Cycling Academy.

“They taught us how to ride a bicycle and about all the rules and safety of the road,” she said.

After winning some races, Tshoko soon realised that she really did love cycling.

“It was in my heart, and I wanted to achieve more and succeed in life,” she added.

Tshoko,23, said that being able to represent her team and country is a huge honour.

“It’s a great way and opportunity to inspire other up-and-coming young female cyclists like myself. It feels like a dream– it’s going to be my first time training and racing in Europe,” she said.

The Time Freight eTeam rider feels that the opportunity is an indication of how much she has grown as a cyclist.

“It’s all about believing in yourself, following your heart, determination, dedication to the love of cycling and the belief that anything is possible,” she added.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Cycling South Africa, the UCI World Cycling Centre, and Time Freight for supporting me; making this dream become a reality.

I never thought something like this would happen so soon in my cycling career.

I always saw it as a dream to be able to go to Europe and represent my country,” she said.

Being part of the African team, Tshoko feels, will also help her to meet riders from other nations, and keep learning throughout.

“I’m so excited-I can’t wait to experience this new chapter in my cycling journey,” she said.

Tshoko knows that racing in Europe will be far different to racing at home, but is ready to push herself, adapt, and grow.

She represented South Africa at the All Africa Games in the Congo last year, and for her, the event was life changing.

“Now something even bigger is about to happen in my cycling career.”

Cycling South Africa Women’s Commission Director and Time Freight eTeam Manager, Lise Olivier said that she is very excited to see Tshoko leaving for Switzerland, and that the opportunity off the bike, not only on, is a whole new experience for the athlete.

“The whole process of applying for a visa, having to board an international flight alone and making the necessary arrangements to travel abroad is teaching her skills that she will be able to apply later in life. In the Time Freight eTeam we mentor our athletes to be able to do just that,” she added.

Olivier said that Tshoko is an incredibly hard working athlete, who is focused on continuous improvement.

“She asks the right questions and then quickly learns all the skills that are needed to make it in the cycling industry. Over the past couple of months she has trained extremely hard and with the additional help and support that she will receive at the World Cycling Centre, she has what she needs to succeed,” she said.

“We are hoping that this opportunity for Zanele and the other athletes will inspire even more young and upcoming athletes to pursue their dreams in a similar fashion,” said Olivier.

World Cycling Centre Africa Director, Jean-Pierre Van Zyl said: “This is an opportunity for Zanele to get the exposure of the levels of international and to gain all-important knowledge and experience... she will learn very valuable lessons.

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