Hyslop retains Zim Afica title

HARARE - Zimbabwe female Under-23 mountain biker Stacey Hyslop made sure the African Championship gold medal remained in the country for the second successive year after claiming her maiden gold in Cairo, Egypt on Saturday.

Racing as a solo Zimbabwean athlete in the absence of last year’s gold medallist Sky Davidson, who could not get her visa sorted in time for the 10th African MTB Continental Championships, Hyslop defied odds leading the pack from start to finish.

“I had a really good warm up and was feeling great on the start line. One of the Egyptian girls got ahead of me up the first climb but I managed to overtake her at the top which worked well. I then started to open up my gap at the front through the technical sections. The Egyptian is a very good track cyclist and has lots of power so I knew I had to really work my downhill sections to keep ahead,” Hyslop told the Daily News from Cairo.

“Having a lead made me feel confident and I really enjoyed the race, it was very challenging but lots of fun. I felt immense pride crossing the line first in my Zimbabwe colours. This is my first gold medal for Zimbabwe which is a great achievement and I was so happy to keep the U23 Women's African continental champion jersey in Zimbabwe for another year as my teammate Skye Davidson won it last year.”

She paid tribute to the Zimbabwe mountain bike team led by manager Linda Warren and fellow cyclist Kombo Bere who also did pretty well getting a seventh place finish out of 23 riders in the Men U23 event yesterday.

“The ladies on the start line were great to race with and I felt proud being an African woman amongst so many other great women. I have to say a huge thank you to the team Zimbabwe manager Linda Warren, this would have been imposing without the support from her and my teammates,” Hyslop added

This would also not be possible without my sponsor Robbies Bicycle Concept who made sure my Pyga was in tip top condition to win the gold medal. I also want to thank my parents for funding my trip to Cairo to win my gold medal for Zimbabwe. I am happy to be flying the Zimbabwe flag high.”

Team manager Warren was happy that Hyslop managed to negotiate her way to the top and defend the country’s gold in a tough field that had top South African athletes, Algeria, Tunisia and the Egyptians who were home favourites.

“Stacey was able to use her vast experience of international racing to her advantage on this course. We had a good strategy for the event and everything unfolded according to plan. Stacey is a disciplined and courageous rider and not afraid to make bold moves on the circuit. It’s a pleasure to work with such an athlete and we are all thrilled to keep the continental title firmly on Zimbabwe’s shoulders for the second consecutive year,” Warren told the Daily News.

Comments (1)

https://mjvande.info/mtbfaq.htm

Mike Vandeman - 24 April 2018

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