MTN-Qhubeka’s Songezo Jim makes history, pedals on
Songezo Jim of Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung made cycling history this spring when he became the first black South African rider to compete in a UCI WorldTour event, Milan-San Remo (won by teammate Gerald Ciolek). His place in the European pro peloton is especially inspiring considering that Songezo did not learn to ride a bike until he was 14 years old.
He now hopes to inspire young African cyclists, just as he was inspired when the Cape Argus passed his house when he was growing up. The 22-year-old Songezo and his entire team work to promote Qhubeka, a South African non-profit organization that provides bicycles to rural children in return for work done to improve their communities. Qhubeka is a beneficiary of World Bicycle Relief.
Zipp recently caught up with Songezo:
Zipp: This has been a historic season for African road cycling, for you and for Team MTN-Qhubeka. What has been your highlight so far?
Zipp: You did not learn how to ride a bike until you were 14. What was it that attracted you to cycling?
Zipp: You made history by being the first black South African to compete in a WorldTour event. What lessons do you try to impart to young cyclists back home?
Zipp: What has been the biggest challenge for you racing in Europe, especially in huge events like Milan-San Remo?
Zipp: What is your favorite model of Zipp wheel and why?
Zipp: What is it you like best about your SRAM RED groupset?
Zipp: How do you see your role as a pro bike race as complimenting the promotion and distributions of Buffalo Bikes from Qhubeka? Do you get the chance to see these bikes given to children and put into good use?
Zipp: What is your ultimate goal in bike racing?
Follow @SongezoJim on Twitter