Froome’s future mother-in-law to compete in MTB world champs

2013-08-16 00:00

MARITZBURGERS should expect to see the biggest names in cycling in the upcoming mountain biking world championships taking place at Cascades from next week.

One of them is Pauline Cound, the current women’s master’s world champion. Cound also happens to be the future mother-in-law of this year’s Tour de France winner, Chris Froome.

The 52-year-old mother of Michelle Cound — Froome’s fiancée — said although she concentrated on road cycling and was a former triathlete, she could not miss a world championship on her home territory.

Cound said she had spent the last three days getting used to the course.

“You’re going to find it difficult if you don’t ride the course. I’ve ridden on my own, and now I have to ride it with 50 other people,” Cound said, dressed in her rainbow jersey following her world championship win.

Of the course, she told The Witness: “I’ve done a lot of marathon championships. Everyone I’ve spoken to has said this is a technical course. It’s really tough.

“This is not for the faint-hearted. I’ve struggled in some areas. It’s a massive coming out of my comfort zone and it’s been hard work.”

During the championships, Cound will have the support of her husband, who will travel down to Pietermaritzburg from their Johannesburg home.

She added that there was a “big buzz” and a number of people will travel down to the City of Choice to support family members.

Of her famous soon-to-be son-in-law Froome, she said: “I was very humbled when Chris came to our house last year and he said, ‘You’re a world champion and I still haven’t achieved that’. He is just an inspiration for me, and there’s this mutual respect between the two of us.”

Froome was born in Kenya, brought up in South Africa and races for Great Britain. But Cound said he still classified himself as African.

“For him, home is Kenya. He was educated here and he went to race in the UK. He still classifies himself as African. What Chris, Daryl [Impey] and Greg Minnaar have done for cycling … they’ve done a lot for the sport,” she said.

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