The 20-year-old KwaZulu-Natal local put on an impressive performance in the qualifying rounds early in the contest, but admits that she made a mistake on the last straight. “I need to work on my corners too, but as always I am super excited to have qualified and cannot wait to race this evening.”

Teagan O’Keeffe has progressed to tonight’s final rounds of the first leg of the UCI UCI BMX Supercross World Cup currently taking place in Manchester. Photo courtesy of Craig Dutton (www.craigdutton.com)

O’Keeffe qualified in 24th place, with the top 32 women proceeding to the next round, which is the moto’s. She will have to race in three moto’s and finish in the top 4 in each round before she even reaches the semi finals, and from the semi’s, will have to finish in the top four as well before she can proceed to the final.

The men’s competition has been equally tough, with our four South African competitors missing out on the motos. Kyle Dodd, Sifiso Nhlapo, Gavin Lubbe and Godfrey Buziba all qualified in 76th, 78th, 110th and 136th positions, but only the top 64 riders made it to the next round.

Dodd tweeted that he was very happy with his time trial result of 76th place, and Lubbe felt disappointed with his result although he was happy to be racing BMX supercross again.

For Olympian Nhlapo, arriving in Manchester on Wednesday without his bags, bike and race gear meant that he missed out on his first practice session, with little time to find the racing lines for the tough time trial sessions.

Sifiso Nhlapo is disappointed by not qualifying to the final rounds of the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup currently taking place in Manchester. Photo courtesy of Craig Dutton (www.craigdutton.com)

There were very few riders under 15.5-second mark in the first split and Nhlapo found himself within that time mark at 15.4 seconds, until he knocked his helmet which shifted his goggles up. He completed the lap but lost critical seconds, finishing in 78th place.

Nhlapo’s manager Mark Squire emphasised how tight the racing was. “Less than 1 second separated the top 30 riders and less than 1.5 seconds separated the top 64 riders!”

Nhlapo commented, “It is disappointing not qualifying and frustrating at the same time. It’s just been a difficult week with flights being late, bags arriving late and pretty much going 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.”