Cape Town - South African Olympian and cross-country (XCO) champion James Reid has decided to call time from mountain biking for 2017.
Reid told Trendmtb website that he has decided to take a break from professional racing to focus on his studies.
He is doing his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) at UCT’s Graduate School of Business.
"Cycling has been a big part of my life but it’s not my whole life – it is not the only thing that defines me," said Reid. "I also want an intriguing and engaging life beyond sport, not necessarily in the cycling sphere. So in a way, doing my MBA is setting myself up for the years of my life post bike racing."
The 24-year-old has won two Elite national marathon titles, two Elite national XCO titles and represented South Africa at the Rio Olympic Games.
Reid said he hasn't decided on when to return to professional cycling, but mentioned that there's a "scope to come back and do things differently, with a fresh approach to the sport".
Meanwhile, mountain biker Alan Hatherly has been snapped up by Team Spur, South Africa’s most progressive mountain bike team, to its line-up for 2017.
Hatherly, 20, finished a respectable 26th at the Olympic Games, confirming a bright future as a cross-country racer.
According to SASCOC website, the reigning Under-23 African XCO champion will continue to focus on the XCO discipline in 2017, with a number of high profile European races on his schedule, including selected World Cups.
"My short term goals are to win SA Champs and finish top five at World Champs in 2017, but my longer term goal is getting a medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia. Team Spur are fully behind me and have ensured I get to do to a lot of European-based racing next year," said Hatherly, who recently moved from his home province of KwaZulu-Natal to Cape Town.
The full-time 'Team Sput' 2017 line-up is:
Ariane Lüthi (rider), Alan Hatherly (rider), JP Jacobs (mechanic), Tim Bassingthwaighte (manager), Nic Lamond (director).