20-year-old Maties cyclist Frankie du Toit competed in the 2017 UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) Mountain Bike World Championships this weekend in Cairns, Australia, but was sadly unable to finish due to a crash.
The SA under-23 cross-country champion is originally from KwaZulu-Natal and first started competing when she was 15.
No stranger to international competition, Du Toit has been to two previous World Championships. She has also competed in the African Youth Games in 2014 as well as a few African Continental Championships for both road and mountain bike.
Du Toit is a first year BA Sport Science student and says she chose to study in Stellenbosch because: “Stellenbosch has a very nice cycling culture and community as well as some amazing trails and training routes. I’m also a fourth generation Matie on my mom’s side.”
In preparation for the championships, she spent a lot of time on the bike and had to overcome a few struggles.
“I did endurance rides and intervals, as well as strength and conditioning in the gym. Maties also gave me access to a sport psychologist, massage therapist and nutritionist, all of which helped me a lot. I unfortunately got quite sick 4 weeks before I was supposed to leave, and when I was better from that I injured my back which was super frustrating,”
Head coach of Maties Cycling Alex Heward says: “It’s always great to see young riders making it to an international level. While we do not lack the talent in this country it is still very difficult to bridge across to international level, especially in mountain bike racing. Having someone as young as Frankie achieve this creates hope and belief among other riders, as they know it is possible.”
On the standard of Maties cycling, Heward says: “I have been actively involved in Maties cycling for about 6 years now and we are always improving. While in the past we have seen incredibly talented individuals come through the club, I would have to say that the general standard is of the best we have ever had.”
He continued to say that “Due to the implementation of a High-Performance program we have been able to lift the level of all riders on the squad, and we can see the results in the depth we have within the squad.” – Tegan Mouton