MTB World Cup: Im driven by my fans, says up and coming rider

2012-02-28 00:00

WITH anticipation building up ahead of the 2012 Rocky Roads UCI MTB World Cup season opener in Pietermaritzburg later this month, the world’s focus will once again be on the Mecca of Midlands sports.

 

It is this support that local mountain bike rider Kelvin ­Purchase (23) is looking forward to as he aims to push harder for a good finish in the event.

“The support I get from the fans in Pietermaritzburg is amazing and really drives me,” ­Purchase told The Witness.

He said he was lucky his wife, Macheila, supported his passion by encouraging him to cycle and watching his races.

An engineer’s assistant, Purchase was introduced to cycling at an early age.

He grew up in the Free State and started riding motocross with his brother, Brad (21).

When the family moved to the Midlands in 2005 the brothers became excited at the sight of the hills and were inspired to take on new challenges.

Purchase added: “The Midlands has some of the best courses in South Africa.

“They really challenge riders who have to be on the top of their game to compete.

“And the new blood that’s coming through is exciting for the sport.”

Looking to this year’s event, Purchase said he wanted to do better than he had done last year when he came 66th.

The MTB World Cup course, at the Cascades MTB Park, is undergoing a major facelift ahead of this year’s meeting.

It is being shortened by half, which will make life easier for the teams and offer double the opportunity for the spectators.

Course designer Nick Floros said the main reason for changing the course was that teams from abroad, such as Europe and the U.S., would not be able to bring their support teams.

“Hence we needed to rework the practicality of the feed zones,” Floros said.

“Instead of the single 5,6 km loop we had previously, we’re now going to have a two-loop course with each loop being 2,3 km long.

“The two feed zones on the course are now much closer together, which obviously helps the riders’ support teams a lot.”

Floros said riders would find racing a little harder on the new layout and the track would probably suit the climbers a little more than before.

“They used to have to climb quite a bit in the first half and then could recover on the downhill in the second half.

“Now they will have to do a bit of a climb initially, then descend a bit, then there’s a big climb before the last descent to the finish,” he said.

Please see a video on Kelvin Purchase going down the new Cascades track which will be used duing the MTB World Cup in March:

 

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