James Reid – South Africa’s mountain biking champion – has revealed his decision to withdraw from mountain biking for 2017.

He told Trendmtb in a recent feature that he has decided to suspend his professional racing career in other to dedicate more time to his studies.

The South African is currently studying for a Masters degree in business administration MBA) at UCT’s Graduate School of Business.

“Cycling has been a big part of my life but it’s not my whole life – it is not the only thing that defines me,” said Reid.

“I also want an intriguing and engaging life beyond sport, not necessarily in the cycling sphere. So in a way, doing my MBA is setting myself up for the years of my life post bike racing,” he added.

The young athlete has so far had a rewarding career, with many titles to his name. Some of his most notable accomplishments include; two Elite national XCO titles, two Elite national marathon titles, and recently represented South Africa at the Rio Olympic Games.

The 24-year old professional did not disclosed when he will return to professional cycling, but hinted that he will definitely make a comeback and intended to face the sport with a different approach when he returns.

In the meantime, Team Spur – the most progressive South African Team – has added mountain biker Alan Hatherly to it line up for next year.

Hatherly had put on a remarkable performance earlier at the Olympic game, completing the race in a respectable 26th position. The 20-year old professional has expressed high hope for the 2017 season, and is confident of a successful time with Team Spur.

“My short term goals are to win SA Champs and finish top five at World Champs in 2017, but my longer term goal is getting a medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia. Team Spur are fully behind me and have ensured I get to do to a lot of European-based racing next year,” said Hatherly, who recently moved from his home province of KwaZulu-Natal to Cape Town.