‘Special Gregg’ enjoys his new bike, flies down track

2013-08-30 00:00

IF Maritzburg downhiller Gregg Brown — also known as “Special Gregg” — did not know what lay ahead of him at the UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships, he found out yesterday.

The 17-year-old Brown flew down the track at the downhill official timed session for juniors, dropped his bike at the finish and gasped for air.

“So, so dry. Dusty, slippery, but it’s really fun,” Brown told The Witness, barely holding onto his breath.

“I did all my jumps, all my lines. This bike is so good,” he said of his new bike, which was bought for him after a fundraising drive to get him off of his old seven-year-old second-hand bike.

Despite his flying time, Brown could only sneak into top 20 fastest times.

“These guys are looking good. They’re well trained. They’re really fast,” he said.

Brown took a fall in the training session on Wednesday, which resulted in a couple of scrapes. But, he said yesterday he was all bandaged up and looking okay.

He said he was ready and looking forward to competition today, and hoped the weather would remain the way it was.

To know how tough the competition would be today, Brown would have to look at 18-year-old American Richie Rude.

Downhill racing against other juniors was a new experience for the American teenager, as he was more accustomed to coming up against elite riders.

“I’ve got the second fastest time, but it’s all new to me,” Rude told The Witness.

According to Rude, the track was “taking a beating” due to its dryness.

“It’s falling apart in some places. South Africa is different to anywhere else in the world. It’s a little hard for me, but I’m getting used to it.”

Michael Melles (18) from New Zealand, said he’d rather “race in the mud”, but he still enjoyed the hard, dry track.

“It’s a fun track. The competition is really hard, though.”

But, for Melles, racing in sweltering 30ËšC heat was a new experience for him.

“I’m used to 15ËšC, and it’s twice as hot here. I just drink heaps and heaps of water. That’s about the only thing you can do,” he said.

TODAY’S SCHEDULE

10 am: Women junior and men junior downhill world championships

10 am – 12.30 pm: Women elite trials world championships

1 pm: Women under-23 cross-country world championships

3.15 pm: Men under-23 cross-country world championships

4 pm – 5.30 pm: Men junior trials 20” world championships

6 pm – 7.30 pm: Men elite trials 20” world championships

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