SA champ aims for world title

Sixteen-year-old Jose Kleinsmit of Brits won the South African National Road and Time Trial Cycling Championships in the under 19 category last week and his eyes are firmly set on the world title in Australia later this year.

Jose Kleinsmit (16)

The talented young cyclist only started cycling seriously two years ago but already has a number of firsts in his saddle. He was also the South African National Road and Time Trial Cycling Champion in the under 17 category last year.

“It was a really tough race. After 80 km I started cramping and I never thought I would win. We climbed 2 400 m during the six times we ascended God’s Window. It was really difficult,” he says. He also won the time trials part of the race and will be competing in the World championship in Australia in October this year. He is also hoping for a win at the South African track cycling championships in March.

Jose is currently in Grade 11 and is being home-schooled. His cycling career started out four years ago because mom Liezel wanted the family to be active. The whole family went cycling and Jose loved it. He gradually started competing and winning races. A well-known cycling coach noticed Jose while he was cycling for fun at the Hector Norris Cycling Track and approached him. He wanted to know who Jose was coached by and was told “we Youtube it as we go”. The coach offered his services and Jose is currently cycling for Team Bike Craft.

Jose currently has no other future plans than cycling.

“That is what I want to do for a living. I cycle between two and five hours a day, and when I am not cycling or studying, I am busy with the bike. After school I am going to try and get a contract with a European team. My aim is the Olympic Games. Cycling is my passion. There is nothing else I want to do!”