Cyclist Hazel Magill joined us for our Capestorm cycle shoot. We were so impressed with Hazel's skills, we had to find out more about her life on the bike!
What makes you get up and cycle every day?
I’d have to say it’s more the feeling of achievement I feel after training that makes me get up. I strongly believe in starting your day positively, because whatever happens within the first 1-2 hours of you waking up, determines your outlook and attitude for the rest of the day.
Hazel in the Ladies Resist Cycling Jersey
Are you a Roadie or a MTB lover?
Many think MTB and Road Cycling are basically the same. I would say that the bicycle is probably all they have in common. I’ve come to understand just how different these two disciplines are. I come from an MTB background, and loved the individual side of it, it’s “me, myself and I” if I don’t win, I need to put in more work, everything is on you and you don’t need to rely on other people to do well, on race day. Road on the other hand is a team sport, and so many more tactics involved, you evaluate the race profile and race for the team mate that is most suited for the race. I love being on the MTB and I'd say I do it “just for fun” but I’ll have you know I’m pretty competitive even though it’s “just for fun” ;)
Road, however, is my passion and I enjoy being surrounded by my team mates, racing together, the team spirit and how we ‘got each other’s backs’. We’re quite a feisty bunch. I’ve also tried out Track Cycling, which I must say, has also been growing on me, however, my housemate (who’s also a cycling enthusiast) and I just don’t have space for more bicycles at this point in time, plus my bank account wouldn’t approve as much.
Besides the bike, what would you say makes the biggest difference to being a good cyclist?
I’d have to say, first passion, and then mindset. I’ve come to realize that if there’s no passion, there’s no performance, and if there is passion then you really need to focus on your mindset. You’re mind is a powerful tool, you need to use it to your advantage.
When you not on the bike, what keeps you busy?
I’m currently studying Advanced Sports Massage Therapy, as well as Sports Nutrition, but I do enjoy my Xbox every now and again, and the occasional glass of red wine.
Hazel wears the Ladies Motion Jacket
What does a day in the life of Hazel involve?
Every day is different to be honest. I have a routine, but I like change, so every day could be the same things but at different times with different people. I’ve actually started a YouTube channel for people to see how or what “the life of an athlete” is all about. You can check out one of my most recent video’s here.
How often do you cycle a week?
Mostly 6 of the 7 days. It could change, all depending on how I’m feeling, and what my coach tells me to do.
Are you training for any races?
I’ve had to choose my races wisely this year due to some setbacks, however I've set myself goals and will train accordingly.
Do you have a cycling club/community you belong to?
No, I just cycle with whoever is keen to go riding. I love meeting and interacting with new people.
Tell us a bit about the South African cycling community? How do we fair compared to other counties?
My honest opinion would be that we have an enormous amount of talent in this country, I just don’t think that we’re at an international level as yet, due to lack of development. We have a few riders here and there that are phenomenal but there’s nothing being put back into the youth, which in my opinion is the base and most important. Having said that, I have to give all my kudos to the High School Spur MTB Series for developing athletes! We just need something like that in the Road, Tri and Track scene.
Who are the big cyclists at the moment or the up and coming ones we should look out for?
That’s a tricky one. I’ve seen brilliant athletes at school level, who leave school and forget about cycling. So I think best would be to see who leaves school and continues competitive cycling. Those are the ones to look out for.
What are your tips for riding on single track for those who are new to this area of MTB riding?
My number one tip would be to know your bike inside out - something as simple as washing your own bike, having respect for it and knowing how to service it makes a huge difference - and balance! Balance is great for all kinds of cycling disciplines! I think once you can track stand (balancing on one place for a long period of time) you will automatically better your performance on the bike.