‘Skizo’ ready for PMB

2010-07-24 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — South African Olympian and MTN BMX cyclist Sifiso “Skizo” Nhlapo is headed to Pietermaritzburg to compete in the UCI BMX World Championships, which will be held at the Royal Showgrounds from Thursday to Sunday.

Nhlapo, who last year suffered a spinal injury that forced him out of action for eight months, has regained some of his earlier form competing in the BMX Supercross Series across Europe. Nhlapo had a six-race winning streak last year before his crash.

The three-time South African BMX champion, who was born in Soweto, left South Africa earlier this year to prepare at the UCI Centre in Switzerland before competing in the first round of the BMX Supercross Series in Denmark. This was also the start of his qualifying process for the 2012 Olympic Games. Nhlapo claimed a place in the semi-finals to prove that his preparations for the World Championships are on track.

“Sifiso has had to train harder than ever before to regain his form and compete strongly in the upcoming BMX World Champs,” says Douglas Ryder, MTN Energade Cycling team manager. “What makes the BMX World Champs so different this year is that every rider has to qualify in a solo ride around the course. Provided the recorded time is in the top 64, riders get to compete in the next round to vie for a spot in the final.”

Returning to South Africa in June coincided perfectly with rounds four and five of the MTN BMX National Championship held in Germiston, where Nhlapo competed with the local elite riders. He performed as expected, winning every race and proving to everyone that he is well prepared and back to racing fitness leading up to the BMX World Championships.

Says Bernard Pieters, senior sponsorship manager at MTN South Africa, “We are extremely pleased with Sifiso’s performance thus far and welcome him back to race fitness. We wish him all the very best for the World Championships and believe he will bring honour and pride to the MTN brand and all South Africans.”

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