Bentley feels composed ahead of the Elite downhill race; Veteran Dekker loving every minute
The third round of the 2015 Stihl SA MTB Cup Series (XCO and DHI) takes place at Mankele Bike Park in Mpumalanga on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th April. Online pre-entries for both events close at midnight tonight.
Men’s Elite Rider, Tim Bentley, is looking forward to racing this weekend. “I think that I could say that it’s my probably favourite SA track of the season,” he said.
Bentley, sponsored by Greg Minnaar Cycles and Fox Head Clothing, finished in third place behind Tiaan Odendaal (second) and Sam Bull (first) at the second DHI round of the MTB Cup earlier this month. “Look, the PMB course is not my ultimate-ultimate favourite track, because it’s quite pedally for my liking, but it was still a really good day,” he said.
He is fond of the area, and enjoys the course a lot because of its technical sections. “I’ve always been a fan of that track. It’s steep and technical and a lot like the international tracks that we’re used to riding,” he said.
Looking ahead to the racing, Bentley is confident, and hopes to keep the crowds watching in anticipation as they did at the last DHI round of the series that was held in Pietermaritzburg. “I’m looking forward to this weekend and hopefully to put down some better results,” he concluded.
Bentley is hoping to go to Europe in June to race some of the UCI World Cups.
Vets rider Grant Dekker chats about the mixed emotions felt during a downhill race and the pure enjoyment of the discipline.
“Since I was a little kid I’ve always loved riding. I was just in it for the skids and the wheelies. I still am. I think that’s why I enjoy mountain biking – because of the skids and the wheelies,” he said.
Dekker was placed second in his category at round two of the DHI Cup Series, which took place at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday 5 April.
When asked about his interest in downhill racing and where it stemmed from, he had this to say: “I think my downhill interest was inspired by Enduro racing. It’s a natural progression from Enduro into downhill. I think riding a mountain bike through single track as fast as you can against your mates, having a jol, is a great idea.”
Dekker mentioned that if he had to find a unique selling point of DHI, it would be “that you get to practice as much as you want, race with your friends, and there is always an easy way around something (chicken runs).”
He believes that there was no greater feeling than being on a DHI bike. “You go through every single possible type of emotion, just at the start. I get to the start and I physically shake and think to myself… why am I doing this? And then the gun goes off and there’s no turning back. And then I just think to myself: every metre that I go down is one less metre to fall off on,” he laughed.
Dekker takes part in round 3 of the DHI Cup, but is not too sure how he feels about the Mankele course and this weekend’s event. “To be honest – I’m nervous as hell. I haven’t ridden that track before. And everybody is scaring me when they talk about it because they say that it’s the most legit track and so close to international standards. At my age now, I can’t risk breaking myself. If I get to the bottom alive and smiling then that’s all I ask for. That would be great,” he concluded.
Entries for the 2015 Stihl SA MTB Cup DHI/XCO #3 close at midnight tonight. Click here to enter: https://csams.cyclingsa.com/online-entries.aspx?eventid=3789 Late entries will be accepted at registration with a R50 nominal fee.
For more information about the event, click here: http://www.cyclingsa.com/2015-sa-mtb-cup-series. Click here to download the Standard Programme of Events: