One of the country’s top marathon mountain bikers, Phillimon Sebona, has stepped into a new role as manager and ambassador for a local development brand at the beginning of the month.
The former PYGA Euro Steel rider’s new endeavour is alongside Curro Schools South Africa, Future Coaches Cycling and Grit Procurement Solutions – known as C2R.
While still competing professionally, his role is to develop young riders.
“I’ve seen a good opportunity to grow talent in the community. I’ve always wanted to work with children while I do what I love,” said Sebona, who sold peanuts as a pupil to buy his first bicycle.
The 28-year-old Pretoria resident said his plan was to establish cycling groups within the schools and then to build a feeder team to a professional outfit.
This would create a foundation of talent and skill that could be tapped in the long run, he said.
From a personal perspective, the rider who is affectionately known as Philli, hoped to learn more about professional structures.
“I look forward to put together a self-driven setup and try and make it successful,” said Sebona, who hoped the fruits of his labour would be fresh talent exposed to the local racing scene.
As a rider, he spent the last three years of his professional career with PYGA, racking up numerous notable results.
These include placing third in last year’s Berg & Bush alongside Pieter du Toit and winning the final stage of sani2c alongside the same teammate. Two years ago, as a solo rider, he placed second overall at joberg2c.
Sebona was also part of the national squad that travelled to the marathon Worlds in Italy and Switzerland over the last two years.
“During my time with the team I learnt a lot about discipline, focus and racing tactics, especially from my former teammate Philip Buys. They really helped me get to where I am today and I’m so grateful for that.”