Junior World Champ to race in XCO Cup #2, Gauteng

Junior World Champion Simon Andreassen (DEN) has confirmed his participation in the second round of the 2015 Stihl SA MTB Cup Series, which takes place at Voortrekker Monument in Gauteng on Saturday 28 March 2015. The event will see an array of national and international riders competing for all-important UCI points towards their nation’s Rio Olympics 2016 qualification.

Juniors will also be able to earn UCI points as the second round of the national series is part of UCI Junior World Series. With the Junior categories taken out of the UCI MTB World Cups, Juniors will again participate in their own world series to garner valuable UCI points.

Mads Bødker, Danish National Mountain Bike Team coach, is beyond excited to be back in South Africa, bringing with him a fantastic team of some of the strongest young riders in Europe.

Along with Danish Elite Champion Sebastian Fini Carstensen (Current #11 in U23 ranking) and Junior World Champ silver medalist Marlene Degn, Bødker also brings with him Junior World Champion Simon Andreassen – the youngest member in the National team.

Bødker explains the importance of a race such as this one: “The Junior series race is a very good opportunity for Simon Andreassen and Jonas Lindberg to get important points before the European season starts. For the other racers, we hope that they will get points for the Olympic qualification.”

In terms of training, the coaches are working on a long-term plan for Andreassen. “He is very strong for his age, but we try not to push him too hard. The success is not being Junior World Champion, it’s in the World Elite when he is racing the Elite Category,” said Bødker.

“Simon usually prepares for the races by getting as much information about the course that he can. He has been watching videos of the Voortrekker Monument course. Simon always wants to perform the best he can, so I am sure you will see the best of him,” he said.

“It’s my third time in SA, but have never been to Gauteng. Johan Hattingh has very generously invited the team to stay with him and his family, which we appreciate a lot. Our stay in SA is also a very good opportunity to do some serious racing and training for the European season.”

Bødker mentioned that the team would also be taking part in the UCI HC Category XCO race at the Pietermaritzburg MTB Festival on 4 April. “They are very exited to be coming back to South Africa – many of them were there in 2013 for the World Championships in Pietermaritzburg, where we had a great experience with the South African people and country,” he said.

Entries for the 2015 Stihl SA XCO Cup #2 are open. To enter, click here: http://csams.cyclingsa.com/enter-an-event/mtb/2015---mtb---sa-cup-series-2-xco.aspx. Entries close at midnight on Tuesday 24 March 2015. Late entries will be accepted at registration, with a nominal charge of R50 added to the entrance fee. For more information on the 2015 Stihl SA MTB Cup Series, click here: http://www.cyclingsa.com/2015-sa-mtb-cup-series.

For more information on the Pietermaritzburg MTB Festival, click here: http://www.cyclingsa.com/2015-pmb-mtb-festival.

Note: The Pietermaritzburg MTB Festival takes place from Friday 3 to Sunday 5 April 2015. The Easter weekend festivities include XCO (HC) for Elite Men and Elite Women, XCO Masters, Stihl SA DHI Series #2, Spur School Series MTB race, Development Race Series Finale, Enduro, 50km Classic, 20 km race and a 10km fun ride.