The Harare BMX Club was commissioned by the Union Cycliste International (UCI) to host last month’s African Continental Championships (AFCON). The event gives riders the chance to win UCI points that go towards earning Olympic qualification.
The locally-run Africa Challenge was attached to AFCON, giving BMX fans an exciting two days of racing.
BMX at this level is a true spectacle. Races last not much more than thirty seconds, as riders hurl themselves around the course, ramping obstacles and flying through the air as they pedal furiously in a tight, daredevil group.
In the Elite Category, Zimbabwe was represented by Anthony Timothy, Simon Martin, Tawanda Marova, and Penias Tenthani. Tenthani managed an admirable 4th place in the AFCON event on Saturday 21 November. The podium was dominated by South African riders. Tenthani did however make it onto Sunday’s podium, taking third place in the Elite category in the Africa Challenge.
Rider, coach, and National BMX Committee member Jasper Schweppenhauser was the winner of the Challenge for ages 17 to 24. Although he races for South Africa, he is dedicated to developing the sport here in Zimbabwe. “It is safe to say that international riders can use Zimbabwe as a training stop while touring Africa as it is a world class track and can host events of high calibre,” he said.
The success of the event will raise the profile of Zimbabwean BMX on the continent and internationally.
Image credit: Graham van der Ruit