Frankie du Toit

Mountain biker

Going from winning her first bicycle as a prize for a colouring-in competition when she was six to leading the Women’s Cross-country Pro Elite category in her first year at that level, 18-year-old Frankie du Toit is setting her sights on the Rio Olympic Games later this year.

Originally from Wartburg, a small town approximately 40km north-east of Pietermaritzburg, du Toit has dominated the junior girls’ podiums across several disciplines.

And while she had only a slender lead over Elite XCO national champion Cherie Vale after two rounds, Du Toit is very comfortable in the world of cross-country racing.

Currently, she races for the Kargo Mountain Bike Team, the only UCI-accredited trade team in Africa, and has already represented South Africa four times. Amid all her successes last year, she also wanted to do well at the UCI MTB and Trials World Championships in Andorra held in September. Unfortunately, she had to settle for 27th position.

“I really wanted to do well at Worlds and I got there with the hope of getting a top five. However, my bike broke and I had a series of mechanicals that held me back,” she says.

Despite the disappointment, she is enjoying the challenge of racing in the elite category this year.

“Originally, I was going to study this year but when I was approached by Kargo, I knew it was a great opportunity. Additionally, they are based in Durban so it is well situated for me. Transitioning from junior to pro-elite has been tricky, requiring more laps and racing for longer.”

Despite this, she is familiarising herself with the new environment and will definitely be one to watch for the future. — Iwan Pienaar

Photo: Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media

Twitter @Frances_DuToit