Olympian Kyle Dodd and Youth Olympian Alex Limberg are part of the South African team at BMX World Championships in the United States, writes MARK ETHERIDGE.
A 28-strong team is doing duty at the Rockhill, South Carolina venue.
This is the first time in more than 15 years that the US is hosting the World Championships, and around 300 professionals from 40 countries around the globe will be in action.
The Novant Health BMX Supercross Track boasts a 10.7-metre initial elite jump for speed, and was modelled based on similar elements as those of the 2008 Beijing Olympic track.
Team SA caught up with Dodd and Limberg for their thoughts.
Said Dodds: ‘Basically this year has been a bit tough trying to juggle a full-time job and carrying on racing at the highest level, but I’d rather not complain and get on with it. Off-season training went well, but a operation on my chest early in the year hampered me a little bit. Leading up to this nationals I was confident, but still a bit worried to see how things would go since it was my first national while working full-time.’
Dodds, 23, is currently working in the construction industry as a site foreman.
‘The racing was tough, both mentally and physically, mostly because the track was pretty flat so a lot of power and working the bike got you around the track fast. The weekend was a two-man drag race with myself and Alex, so one mess-up from each of us cost the race, luckily I was able to handle the pressure and take the win in the deciding final.
‘I had a few good warm-up qualifiers leading up to each final and I was very happy with how the weekend went, taking the overall with two out of three mains wins.
‘It was more of a train-through national, seeing as I found some funding thanks to Red Bull to get me to the World Championship.
‘I feel strong and ready to take on the world’s best. Another plus is I’m not new to the facility as I’ve raced there once before already, so learning the track won’t be an issue.
‘I think my goals are to ride my best and push my heart out each and every time my tyres hit the track. I’m hoping to better my position from the last worlds and hopefully make a semi-final, but anything can happen in those qualifiers.
‘The plan is to stay smooth, race hard and never forget to have fun. Nothing makes me more happy than throwing on my country’s jersey once again and repping this beautiful place I love so much.’
Young Limberg had a few travel issues before finally getting to Rock Hill this week, but has settled in nicely.
‘Luckily my second trip was smooth sailing getting here. I have had a little look at the track while the kids were practicing, but to be honest I watched videos of racing on YouTube and it looked bigger on videos, like wide open big jumps and lots of space to pedal, but it almost resembles a tight technical indoor track.
‘I’ve been to five world champs since 2010, but it’s my first world champs racing elite men. I don’t expect much right now – I just want to place well in my first few motos and take it from there.’
Picture of the team courtesy of Daryn Varney Photography
The South African riders taking part in the BMX World Championships are: Wayne Beadsworth, Marco Cherti, Jonnathan Chislett, Lauren Amy Coetzee, Grant Dekker, Justin Dekker, Kyle Dodd, Dylan Eggar, Jarod Ellse, Georgina Grassie, Brent Johnson, Andrew Kilian, Tyler Klumper, Alex Limberg, Manqoba Madida, Miyanda Maseti, Deagan McCallum, Ben Menges, Colin Menges, Tyler Posthumus, Andrew Posthumus, Braden Schutte, Jasper Arlo Schweppenhauser, Connor Terblanche, Liam Terblanche, Tyrone Verrall, Dirk Uys, Kita Uys
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