Two-time Olympian Sifiso Nhlapo had a disappointing World Cup BMX competition in Manchester on Friday night.
Great Britain has almost become ÔÇ£homeÔÇØ for the international BMX scene with numerous high profile events in the past year, most notably the 2012 UCI BMX World Championships in Birmingham and the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Now bringing the World Cup to Manchester in their magnificent National Cycling Centre which is in doors and in immaculate condition.
Before the event Team MTN/Qhubeka BMX Rider commented, ÔÇ£Im really looking forward to the first World Cup in Manchester as I was on the podium in a race here last year finishing 3rd.ÔÇØ
Nhlapo has had a tough two years with injuries but has started the 2013 season off in great shape and making main events in the US at the ABA National Rounds where he is based. Skizo mentioned, ÔÇØfor the first time in a while I really feel like my old self and really looking forward to this season.ÔÇØ
Arriving in Manchester on Wednesday before the event with no bags, bike or race gear Nhlapo had to miss the first practice session on Thursday which is the longest and allows riders to get familiar with the track. Fridays practice session which is shorter and the riders use for gate practice and to sort out a few sections that they might have not had a 100% dialed. Skizo used this session to get to grips with the track as much as possible.
After practice Skizo said, ÔÇ£on Thursday I was not too stressed about missing practice as I had ridden here last year but after getting out there today I realized I had minimal time to find the lines before the TT.ÔÇØ
In the Time Trial it was Great Britain rider Liam Phillips who took the fastest time on his home track, less than 1sec separated the top 30 riders and less than 1.5sec separated the top 64 riders. There were very few riders under 15.5sec in the first split and Skizo found himself within that time mark at 15.4sec and on a really good lap until knocking his helmet and moving his goggles up. Nhlapo rode the lap out but had lost 0.5sec during the second half of the lap to finish 78th with a time of 31.351sec.
Nhlapo commented, ÔÇ£its disappointing not qualifying and frustrating at the same time to be making mains before we came out here and now sitting on the stands to watch the racing. Its just been a difficult week with flights being late, bags arriving late and pretty much straight into TT. I look forward to Argentina in 3 weeks time as I know I’m strong, healthy and this weekend is not a true reflection of how I feel.ÔÇØ
A total of 160 riders entered into the first World Cup and the top 64 Time Trial riders qualify to race the event on Saturday.