South African Bmx hotshot Sifiso ‘Skizo’ Nhlapo was unable to notch a fifth straight win in Copenhagen at the weekend.
The MTN Bmx rider was hoping his good form would continue for the first round of the UCI Bmx SX..
Quarter-finals the whole way around had a big mixture of names with some big names not making it through like┬áfifth fastest qualifier, Junior World Champion Sam Willoughby. In Skizo’s quarter-final he used his strength to holeshot again and rode a safe race eventually finishing in second spot behind Stan van der Putten.
In Sifiso’s semi-final he was up against top names like Kiwi rider Marc Willers, Martijn Scherpen, Rob van den Wildenberg and Mtb├®r World Champion Prokop who is a regular at the BMX events.
Skizo got a clean jump out the gate and was nearly two bike lengths in front by the first corner, a gap he seemed to hold onto right till the finish. In the second semi-final of the day Raymon van der Biezen took the top spot.
Going into the final Nhlapo had lane one gate choice.
With his explosive speed and good run up to the final he was tipped by commentators as the favourite to win the final and set a record of five straight wins.
But Bmx being the sport it is so unpredictable, when the gate dropped Skizo had a slower start than normal. He pulled back to second by the end of the first straight. However, starting to set himself up for a pass and make a challenge for the lead, French rider Damien Godet came up the inside and Skizo had to run up the turn.
This unfortunately put Sifiso into fifth place where he eventually finished up in the final.
Van der Putten went on to take the win.
Said a disappointed Skizo says: ‘I’m proud of Dean, the way he rode today, qualifying on the bubble puts you in stacked gates so its always going to be hard but he made it through every lap fast and smooth.
‘Myself, I felt really good today and felt I could win. The motos and semi went really well, I am disappointed about the final but the season still has three more rounds of the UCI SX events and my goal is to win round two at home in front of my home crowd and my main sponsors MTN who have allowed me to race overseas for my second seaso, without them living this dream would not be possible.”
Results for the final:
1. Stan van der Putten (qualified 12th)
2. Martijn Scherpen (qualified 17th)
3. Damien Godet (qualified 3rd)
4. Raymon van der Biezen (qualified 10th)
5. Sifiso Nhlapo (SA, MTN) (qualified 29th)