It’s hard to believe that Hout Bay’s Byron Munton only started his cycling career four years ago.
In that short span of time the 20-year old has made a name for himself and attracted the interest of a Spanish cycling team, GSport.
His contract with the Spanish side runs until the end of the season next year.
As soon as he finished matric two years ago, he turned all his attention to cycling and set himself big targets in the sport. He not only wants to win but to excel in a manner that puts his name among the best.
He says he has been taking his time and learning from some of the best cyclists around.
He has not been pushing too much for podium finishes but has focused on time trials.
Munton has just returned from the UK where he took part in the UCI World Championships under-23 individual time trials. He placed 8th in the championships and says the experience counts more than the result itself.
“The experience cannot be compared to anything else, there are thousands of people cheering and achieving those results there in my first race is huge.”
His interest in cycling began when his father, Nigel, bought himself a bike four years ago.
Munton took it for a ride and claimed it for himself.
“It was my bike after that. It just felt right, it was a sport I wanted to do. I didn’t play any other sport.
“When I started I was always just behind, never in the leading groups since when I raced in the under-18.”
Two years ago he felt he needed to move to Europe to take his cycling to the next level. He says his coach Barry Austin used his contacts to help him get exposure in European circles.
Earlier this year, Munton experienced what he considers to be the highlight in his short cycling career, winning the South African National Road Championships under-23 individual time trials.
He had come in 7th place and 4th place in the two years before winning the championships.
His biggest goal is to make the World Tour team, then get a stage win in the Grand Tour.
A product of Wynberg Boys’ High School, Munton has a solid training schedule where he is on the bike for two to five hours for six days a week on non racing weeks. He also does a lot of strength and conditioning to get his body in the best shape possible.
Munton looks up to South African cyclist Nicholas Dlamini.
He says Dlamini is proof that no challenge is too big as he came from a tough background to put himself on top of the cycling world.
“He has proven to everyone that you can always make something out of yourself no matter the circumstances facing you.”
Munton is currently taking a break and resting as he waits for the start of next season where he will compete for more podium places.
He will be seen more and more in Spanish cycling circuits and feels he is mentally and physically sharp to take on the world’s elite cyclists.