I raced motocross from 1999 until 2009 and have always been obsessed with anything that has 2 wheels. My achievements in motocross included a WP championship title in my division in 2006 as well as a couple of runner up finishes. However, due to the very high costs involved, I was not able to compete at National level which held my progress up.
When I finished high school in 2008 I went to Europe to work and travel. I had always owned a dirt jump bike and played around on it but had never done anything seriously. When I got to the UK I started racing 4X for the season as motocross was obviously too expensive. I did fairly well and ended up 6th overall in the UK 4X rankings.
I was really pleased and wanted to carry on when I got home to SA but there is no 4X racing here at all so I decided to try bmx racing and downhill instead. I purchased my first downhill bike in December 2009 and that’s when it all started. In bmx I finished 9th in the 17 and over expert class overall for the year.
However when I finished 5th overall in the South African downhill Championships in my very first season it changed my focus. That was the turning point for me and I decided that I really wanted to achieve in this sport.
In 2011 I focused myself fully on riding and at the start of the season I finished 2nd in the first provincial series race where I beat Andrew Neethling, current world number 9, into third. The winner was Johann Potgieter, 3 times SA Downhill champion, who was only 0.6s faster than me. Johann and I were the only 2 riders to beat Neethling on home soil in 4 years. After that I went on to finish 4th in the African Continental Championships and then 3rd in the South African Championships. On both occasions I was only 3s off the winner, Andrew Neethling.
My plan was to head to Europe and race a season there to gain more experience between May and September. The first UCI world cup was in Pietermaritzburg so I decided to do that before the Europe trip. I finished 5th in the first event, a Mr Price sponsored event which hosted a number of international riders but unfortunately dislocated my shoulder during world cup practise and wasn’t able to ride. I went home and did a lot of physio to recuperate before leaving for Europe which was an amazing experience. The racing over there is so different and the level of the riders and tracks is so much higher.
I had no idea what to expect as it was my first season in Europe but I am happy with my results, the highlight of which was definitely getting 2nd place at a German IXS Cup in Illmenau against 500+ riders.
Last year I qualified for my first world cup in Pietermaritzburg and finished in 54th place. I had only ridden at 4 world cups prior to this. I also got 15th place at the Chatel European IXS cup after breaking my wrist early in the season. At this stage I can’t complain, I have achieved great results in only 3 years of riding and I feel there is way more to come!
In 2013 I am proudly riding for Investec along with other amazing companies! I am focusing on the UCI world cup series, the IXS european cup series and the UCI world championships in Pietermaritzburg.
Thanks so much to everyone who has helped me thus far!