I had chance to catch up and have a good chat with Sifiso Nhalapo this weekend in the pits over in Norway. The South African is definitely one of the most professional and switched on riders on the circuit. He always has time for the fans and was busy signing autographs and Red Bull posters all weekend between laps. Sifiso has worked hard to make a career from the sport he loves and has some pretty big brands backing him. He’s looked outside the box with his managment and got some mainstream companies behind him, including mobile phone network MTN, Citroen who also supply him vehicles, Red Bull who give him wings and he also has his signature race clothing with Faithwear. Sifiso has now decided to make his own bike frames and has just had delivery of his first 6 sample frames. 1ZERO5 is the brand which is his career number. He’s designed the frame and branding himself and once the Olympics are out of the way is looking to go into production on his new venture.
I grabbed a couple of spy pics of Sifiso’s ride. The graphics are clean and it’s a good look, Sifiso say’s the samples have turned out great and he’s happy with the stiffness. Black and yellow are a good choice of colours too, although I am biased!
Sifiso’s had a few up’s and down’s in his career already. After winning the Junior Cruiser World title in Paris back in 2005 he went on to dominate Elite racing in Europe while being based over here for a while. Unfortunately he suffered a really serious injury after breaking his neck whilst training out in Norway which took him out for a good amount of time. So for Sifiso to then come back and podium at the World Championships in his home country in 2010 finishing second was a massive comeback. Him finishing second was almost like a home win for the South African fans, a special moment for everyone who felt the atmosphere first hand. So with Birmingham coming up it will be crunch time for Sifiso’s to make his Olympic spot for London. I hope we get to see Skizo 105 in the games as riders like him do not have big national team squad’s travelling all over the world to category 3 Elite races, chasing easier UCI points to help their country rankings. If he qualifies himself it’s down to his own performance on the big occasions.
We wish Sifiso the best of luck for Birmingham and his Olympic quest and look forward to seeing the frames released towards the end of the year. Check out Sifiso’s whip when you see him at the NIA Birmingham next month and don’t be scared to ask him for a picture or an autograph as he’s always more than happy to meet the fans.
World Championships 2010 Elite Mens final from Pietermaritzburg South Africa: