Cape Town - Nicholas Dlamini will be the next big thing in South Africa, says Luthando Kaka, one of the country’s most successful cyclists.
Dlamini has already proven to be a talented cyclist after winning the Amateur Green 36One Sprinter’s Jersey during the 2013 Cape Rouleur and also becoming a joint winner in the 2015 KZN Autumn Series Mayday Classic.
He also finished third overall at the prestigious three-day London to Paris road race when he was just 17.
“I can confidently say he will be the first black South African at the Tour de France,” says Kaka.
Talking about cycling in the country since he came onto the scene in 2000, Kaka says: “There have been a number of developments as far as commercialisation of the sport goes and we also have a South African-registered Tour de France team – Team Dimension Data.”
Judging by the number of people asking about opportunities in the sport, he says that, despite the lack of a structural support system from governing body Cycling SA, there is a lot of interest among black cyclists.
Since joining Velokhaya Life Cycling Academy in Khayelitsha five years ago, Kaka, who has represented the country abroad on a number of occasions and has also captained a national pro-cycling team, has opened doors for many youngsters.
The academy has unearthed top talent such as Zanele Tshoko and Songezo Jim, who was the only black South African in Team Dimension Data until recently.
“We have established the first brick-and-mortar information communication technology centre with a gym, a mechanic’s workshop and mini library at the Velokhaya BMX track in Khayelitsha, Cape Town,” Kaka says.