Cycling Dreams, South Africa

I met Jessica last year at the World Cycling Centre in Aigle , Switzerland while visiting Tegshee. He was great to speak with her and listen to her story.

17796634_1660223777620136_5446371487140010015_n.jpg

My name is Jessica Brown, I have been cycling for 7-8years. Three of those years being a professional cyclist for a women's team in South Africa and two years being a national representative. I have achievements on the road and track,

I've also represented SA at 3 international events as a junior and 2 track training camps at the WCC (World Cycling Center) in Switzerland. I'm am the 500m, team sprint and points Junior Track African Champ for 2017 and Team Sprint record holder. 

My experience as a young cycling was quite tough. I was thankful to have development teams (Uber Development & Lorraine BestMed) that helped where they could. 

17861542_1012172502252207_7509871108274646913_n.jpg

We did not have many races or sponsorship to support our young rider back then and yet still today. Progress from U/16 to junior and elite is a big step for the youngsters and in the process we've lost many young riders , parents also play a big role in our cycling lives financially and supportively. Many found it expensive and unfortunately had to pull there kids out of this amazing sport. 

Two of my biggest and most amazing races in SA was the Cape August Cycle Tour and Paarl Boxing Day track event. These two events were my biggest events as a youngster, organizers and supporters brought an amazing welcoming and supportive atmosphere with some of the best races in SA. 

17457667_1651578915151289_2733148438449043451_n.jpg

My expectations for young riders is for CSA (Cycling South Africa) to develop a development project, including all 6 cycling sports (road,track,bmx,mountain biking,xco and para cycling) . This will help the riders and provinces to see what development is needed to be put into the rider and performance expected. 

I also would love to see more development functions for the youth and not only coaches as we all need the guidance to show us the right direction and to make those big discussions. We expect to see more support from sponsorships and international recognition for our riders international and local. 

17796010_1657418831233964_4907574593984227297_n.jpg

Young riders in SA mostly dream of making it as an international professional cyclist. Junior Worlds is there main goal, until they realize there is bigger fish out there to catch, after junior worlds there dream or goals get bigger aiming to the Olympic Games. Where others dream of representing there country with pride and making every move to get SA recognized and show them we can do it. 

My dream was always to be a professional cyclist and win an Olympic medal for my country in the 200m flying lap and 500m time trial. After my dream and goals give back to the youth and show them the direction and guid them to a successful future. 

Thank you for sharing your dreams with us.

SD Team.

..!! FIRST DATE !!..

WHAAAT?? A date, on a Cycling Blog!! You must be kidding,my son would say to me.

Not exactly a date but close enough.I am talking about my first experience as National Team Manager for the Mongolia Cycling Federation(MCF) at the latest UCI Road World Championships in Doha.

To cut the story short....

The morning after my late arrival in Doha,I had an email from MCF General Secretary Naran Zundui delegating me as Team Manager for the Championships...

WOW...

I was like a kid with his new favourite toy.I don't want to sounds monotonous.

 City of Great Architecture.

City of Great Architecture.

During the championships I had the pleasure to meet great new people,see friends of the past, attend meetings, visit the commissaires office & much more. We had long,hot & exhausting days but the ambience of the UCI RAOD WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 2016 made it easier.

 6 hours late finally room service arrived.

6 hours late finally room service arrived.

The MCF represantation was composed by 5 riders,1 Coach and Me as Team Manager.I had the pleasure to be a DS(Directeur Sportif), Mechanic,Soigneur for the riders while they were training or resting and working alongside their coach.

 You can use anything to make a Coffee Bar

You can use anything to make a Coffee Bar

It was a great place to see the SD logo amongst the big cycling brands during the championships, but mostly important enabled me to meet some of our supporters around the globe.We are looking forward to see all of them again soon.

 Tegsee before the start of the Junior Race.

Tegsee before the start of the Junior Race.

 Under 23 waiting to start a training ride.

Under 23 waiting to start a training ride.

A typical day at the Championships:

  • 0530 Wake up call
  • 0630 Breakfast
  • 0730 Training ride for few hours before the temperature going up
  • 0900 Attend Meetings at UCI Event Hotel
  • 1200 Maybe lunch
  • Shopping for rider's food
  • 1600 Chillax by the pool
  • 1800 Meeting again
  • 2000 Dinner of course
  • 2200 Bed time
 Supporting(Shouting Tegsee) out of the car during the Junior ITT race.

Supporting(Shouting Tegsee) out of the car during the Junior ITT race.

 Tegsee con la nostra bella amica Australiana TIffany Cromwell

Tegsee con la nostra bella amica Australiana TIffany Cromwell

 The Cannibal(EDDY MERCKX) with Tegsee

The Cannibal(EDDY MERCKX) with Tegsee

 Belgian Fans walking to the Start Line.Behind one of stadiums for the FIFA WORLD CUP 2022

Belgian Fans walking to the Start Line.Behind one of stadiums for the FIFA WORLD CUP 2022

 Instructing Miga before the start of the Elite race, with the rest of the Delegation arrived for the main event.

Instructing Miga before the start of the Elite race, with the rest of the Delegation arrived for the main event.

 Desert Feed Zone #1.South Africa 

Desert Feed Zone #1.South Africa 

 Live Cam in the middle of the Peloton!!

Live Cam in the middle of the Peloton!!

 Team Germany had few DNF's.Doctors checking body temperature.

Team Germany had few DNF's.Doctors checking body temperature.

We are now working  to get the MCF team across for the CycloCross World Championships 2017 in Luxembourg.If you like to support them please get in touch with us.

 The Teams watching the last few KM of the race on the TV's

The Teams watching the last few KM of the race on the TV's

Supporting the New Para National Road Champion

SaddleDrunk Team is pleased to announce the start of an amazing relationship with Alex Jones the New Para National Road Champion.

We have asked Alex and his mother few question about Alex's cycling career.

Introduction

What an amazing trajectory it has been for 17 year old Alex Jones, since he started cycling competitively only 3 years ago! Having been spotted by British Cycling's Talent Coaches winning gold at the London Youth Games TT in 2012, he has been on the Olympic Talent programme Regional schools of Racing,  learning the trade on track and road - and the levels of hard work, sacrifice and discipline that it takes to succeed.  Born with mild cerebral palsy, last year he caught the eye of the Great Britain Cycling Team para coaches and after a successful first Road World Cup in Italy in June he has gone on to become 2015 National Mens para Circuit series winner and National Mens para Road Champion, a remarkable acheivement for a Junior rider. He has also medalled in each of 5 track events at the UK Games and is looking forward to competing with Paralypmic greats at the National Track Championships at the end of this month.  

History

Alex always enjoyed sports as a child but developed an interest in cycling at the age of 14, joining the Kingston Junior Cycling Club. The coaches there advised him to trial for the London Youth Games, (where he won Gold for the following 3 years) and he was spotted by revered British Cycling Talent and Regional Development coach Graham Macnamee who remains an influential mentor and voice of experience.

Mac nominated Alex for BC’s prestigious Regional Schools of Racing, part of the Olympic Talent Programme where over the next 2 years Alex learned the foundations of competitive road and track cycling and the high standards and hard work expected not only on the bike but off the bike too including nutrition, organization, preparation, discipline and the dedication required to be a top rider. Along the way he was supported and encouraged by his clubs (Twickenham CC, HIllingdon and Prestige), family and school, particularly by his PE Teacher and International Triathlete Mark Yeoman, who showed unwavering belief in  Alex’s potential.

Alex’s passion for riding grew, fuelled by fantastic experiences such as meeting the Team Sky riders and Shane Sutton on a training camp in Majorca where he rode up Mount Lluc with them and being taken behind the scenes at the Tour de France with Chris Boardman, Ned Boulting and Gary Imlach.  Off the bike, Alex is a BC level 1 coach and regularly helps teach young riders at Hillingdon CC.  His other interests are cars and music.

Alex did well in regional events but due to his mild cerebral palsy affecting his performance at an elite National level, he missed out on a place on the Olympic Apprentice programme. However, in a stroke of luck for Alex, he had caught the eye of his current coach, Andy Pitt who offered to take him on a one to one basis in July 2014, starting a fantastically motivating working relationship.   BC’s para cycling programmeidentified his potential and  nominated him for his first para Road World Cup in Italy in June this year where he was classified by an International panel as a C5 rider.

Following an impressive performance at his first World Cup, Alex went on, under the effective guidance of Andy Pitt, to win the National Men’s Para Circuit Series and after an amazing season has become National Men’s Para Road Champion in his category.  He has just returned from the UK School Games having medalled in each of his 5 events and is looking forward to the National Track Championships in Manchester later this month where he will be competing with Paralympic multi-medallists such as Jody Cundy and Jon Allan Butterworth.

After an exciting first year competing as a para cyclist alongside his regular racing commitments, Alex is now undergoing assessments  and training with the Great Britain Cycling Teamand his fierce ambition is to continue to learn and improve and earn the opportunity to ride for GBCT at the 2016 World Cups and World Championships and start BC’s four year preparation cycle for Tokyo 2020. Alex is also a Level One BC coach and spends his spare time teaching young riders at his old club.

From next month Alex will be wearing the national champion colour cycling kit made by SaddleDrunk after being approved by British Cycling. 

Good Luck Alex.

SD Team.

Do not forget to vote for us at the Time Out Love London Awards.