Gillitts lass aims for MTB stardom

2017-08-08 06:01
Photo: suppliedTiffany Keep, a keen mountain biking enthusiast.

Photo: suppliedTiffany Keep, a keen mountain biking enthusiast.

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GILLITTS lass, Tiffany Keep, is a mountain biking (MTB) enthusiast. The Grade 11 pupil attends Thomas More College and recalls her first experience on a bike - she was just three years old when she climbed onto the saddle of a JD Bug pushbike, and as they say, the rest was history.

She says her father encouraged her passion for MTB and inspired and enabled her appetite for the sport and soon she was competing more frequently.

With all her accolades to date, she is well on her way to becoming a pro rider.

Her achievements are no mean feat. She says her most prestigious accomplishment was winning in her age category at the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League Inter-Schools Final in 2016.

She has represented her school and her province for the past three years, which she describes as “an honour and big highlight”.

Tiffany is aiming high for rest of the season, her goals include qualifying at the 2017 Spur Schools MTB National Finals and representing SA at the UCI MTB World Champs in Australia. She was also recently crowned SA Junior XCO Champion.

With a rigorous five to six-day training programme, it’s no surprise that Tiffany is one of our country’s most promising rising MTB stars.

But she’s also making plans to pay it forward, as her passion to see more females participate in MTB has sparked a novel idea to start running a MTB clinic which will allow her to assist younger female cyclists with training, skills development and techniques on how to compete in the sport.

With a role model like Swiss cross-country cyclist Jolanda Neff to inspire her, Tiffany maintains that if she works hard and remains focused, she can also be one of the top female cyclists in the world.

She attributes her achievements and key successes to the support of her family, who have made many sacrifices to keep her in the sport, her coach Johann Wykerd, KZN Cycling, Prime Human Performance Institute and friends.

When asked what it takes to be a great mountain biker, she says: “A good mountain biker has to be determined, have perseverance and a strong will to succeed. In this sport, having the right mindset is just as important as the physical aspect.”
- Supplied.

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