Local rider gears up to take on the big boys at Romaniacs

2015-07-02 08:07
Off-road Enduro racer Travis Teasdale will represent South Africa in Romania.

Off-road Enduro racer Travis Teasdale will represent South Africa in Romania. (Ian Carbutt)

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HAVING first got in the seat of a motorbike at four years old, it seems as if Travis ­Teasdale, who is kick-starting a career as an Enduro racer, was born to ride.

The 17-year-old Pietermaritzburg boy is gearing up to take part in one of the largest Enduro races internationally. The off-road biker will represent South Africa in the ­upcoming Romaniacs race along the ­Carpathian Mountains in Romania.

“My dad bought me a bike before I was born, so he got me going.”

Born and raised in Pietermaritzburg, this is Travis’s ­first year of professional racing. For his first race of the year, he travelled to Austria to compete in the Erzberg Red Bull Hare Scramble.

His family provides a good support system for the young rider. “My mom and sister are at all the races. They watch from the sidelines and act as my pit crew. They push me to do better.”

Travis said the assistance of his coach, William Gillitt, and the sponsorship from KTM, Brother and Leader Tread motivates him to approach his racing with discipline.

His career thus far has been a steady climb. He won the SA championship in his class in both 2012 and 2013. The following year, Travis took part in the Roof of Africa in Lesotho, his first international race, where he was placed 15th.

Romaniacs, starting on July 12, is one of the toughest races in the sport. The Carpathian Mountains is the site of the 600 km race track, which riders from over 37 countries endure over three days. Travis will be taking on this trail on his trusty KTM 300EX3W.

He has high hopes for himself and fellow South African competitors to rise to podium positions this year. “Every year we get better and better. A few years ago you wouldn’t expect South Africans to make the podium, but this year I think we have a chance.”

When Travis is not training — which he does five to six days a week — he coaches young, aspiring bikers to improve their skills. Though he loves the lifestyle of an athlete, he often sacrifices the small pleasures of teenagehood, such as going out with friends. But he realises the sacrifices he make now will pay off later, and he seems happiest when riding his motorbike.

“Going exploring, finding new paths and training the kids makes me really happy,” he says

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  racing

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