The commitment and dedication of two road cyclists from Khayelitsha has earned them places in the recently announced Kinetic Pro Cycling team of eight cyclists. They are Vuyo Mavuya and Vuyolwethu Nkomo from The Sports Trust Development Cycling Programme. Kinetic Pro Cycling provides the opportunity for aspiring young cyclists, mainly from historically disadvantaged backgrounds in South Africa, to race professionally at the highest levels in South Africa and internationally.
Nkomo, a matric learner at Matthew Goniwe Memorial High School in Khayelitsha, started cycling in 2014 and finished fourth in the U19 time trials at the SA National Road Championships in Oudtshoorn in 2018. He was recently awarded his Western Province cycling colours.
Mavuya started cycling in 2016 when he was still a learner at the same school. He has since been focusing on his cycling and helping to manage the development cycling team at Matthew Goniwe. Mavuya is currently the captain of The Sports Trust cycling team. In his first race as a member of the Kinetic Pro Cycling team, Mavuya won King of the Mountain on the 9 February 2019 at the 102km WeBenefit 99er in Durbanville. He came in fourth overall at 2:29:09, just behind pro cyclist Clint Hendricks. “Cycling has given me the space to show my talent,” says Mavuya. “Being part of the elite development cycling, or the ‘DC’ squad, has been a major stepping stone towards realising the dream of one day riding professionally – of riding in the big stages with the big guys and showing them what I am made of.” “It’s all starting to happen now. I love this sport.”
Nkomo says: “I was motivated to start cycling at my school in 2014 after watching cycling races on TV. Now that I have been selected for the Kinetic Pro Cycling team, I tell myself that nothing can stop me. I love cycling and I am also doing well at school. I train hard every day and then I do my homework. When I finish school, I want to continue with my studies and professional cycling.”
They are going pro at precisely the right time. Cycling has grown rapidly as a sport worldwide and it is widely broadcast on TV, with the associated opportunities and sponsorships. There are incredible South African role models in the sport, such as Nick Dlamini, who has reached the highest level of road racing in the world. He, too, is from a disadvantaged community (Capricorn Park in Cape Town) and is a great inspiration to Mavuya and Nkomo. Dlamini regularly trains with them and shares valuable training tips and motivation.
Their Kinetic Pro Cycling Team Manager and Coach is Glen Bonthuys, who also was the Team Manager of the South African endurance track team that raced in Rwanda in 2016, and Assistant Manager of the South African road team in the Tour de Rwanda in 2014. He has a long list of achievement highlights to his name.
Their High-performance Advisor is Barry Austin, a former National Road Cycling Manager, who has coached and managed multiple national champions since 2003. His sights are set on helping young cyclists become leading players in the international cycling arena, and he has an extensive international athlete placement network in Europe. The goal is to focus on the national racing calendar this year and then register the Kinetic Pro Cycling team as a continental team to race at international level in 2020.