"Cycling Ambassador" Receives Hero's Welcome
Western Cape "cycling ambassador" Nicholas Dlamini has returned to a hero's welcome after winning three stage jerseys during his first international event.
Seventeen-year old Dlamini today returned to Cape Town after competing in the London-Paris race last week.
Dlamini, who was co-sponsored by the Western Cape Provincial Government, won one Red jersey and two Yellow jerseys in the race.
The talented sportsman is the youngest person to compete in the race and cycled along sporting greats such as Tour de France winner, Stephen Roche, and Formula One champion, Nigel Mansell.
Apart from winning three jerseys, Nicholas, who lives in Khayelitsha, said his participation in the event was a memorable experience.
"The London-Paris has been an amazing experience. There were supporters watching us ride into London with all the motorbike outriders and lead cars. The Champs-Élysées was closed down for us and we rode on the cobbles up to the Arc de Triomphe and finished next to the Eiffel Tower. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life," said Nicholas.
Alan Winde, Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism said Nicholas served as inspiration to other young people.
"I am very proud of Nicholas and what he has achieved. He is a role model to our youth and proves that no matter you background or circumstance, if you work hard and make use of your talents you can achieve great things"
Minister Winde said he hoped this event marked the start of a successful sports career for Nicholas
"I am sure that great things lie ahead for him and our nation as represented by him."
Minister Winde added that Nicholas’s win was also a boost for the provincial government's campaign to attract 100 000 cyclists to the Western Cape each year in the next ten years.
"The campaign is off to a great start, it showcases that the Cape is an excellent training ground."