Croeser has high hopes for MTB World Champs

2013-07-04 00:00

LEADING South African U23 cross- country mountain biker, Rourke Croeser, has set his sights on a stellar performance in the 2013 UCI MTB and Trials World Championships.

The event will be held at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg, from August 26 to September 1, and Croeser aims to make full use of his wealth of international racing experience, as well as the advantage of racing at home.

Having grown up in Empangeni in KwaZulu-Natal’s Zululand region, Croeser was then fortunate enough to have spent two years living in Europe and competing on the local MTB circuit, something he feels has helped him immensely in his journey as an U23 competitor.

However, with Ballito now his home and with regular training trips and countless races at Cascades, Croeser is relishing the opportunity that August’s global spectacle presents.

“I have really high hopes for the world champs,” said Croeser.

“I’ve been to the worlds since I was a junior and this will be my fifth world champs that I’ve competed in, so I now know what to expect, and I’m really looking forward to this year’s event.”

Familiarity with the route and surroundings, the comfort of being close to home, and the support of the local crowd, are small elements on their own, but when added together, Croeser believes they play a vital role in developing a smooth routine in the period just before race day.

“I really know the course at Cascades and, for some reason, it just seems to suit my style of riding.

“I don’t know what it is, but I just feel good on that course, which really helps you prepare mentally,” he said.

Apart from seeking a top personal performance, Croeser is both hopeful and confident that the rest of the local U23 competitors have a solid outing on race day as many look to burst into the cut-throat environment of elite racing in the next year or two.

“I really believe our local riders can do super well at world champs this year, possibly even have four riders finish in the top 20,” said Croeser.

“James [Reid] knows how to do well in Maritzburg. Brendon [Davids], if he gets it right on the day, can do really nicely, and a couple of the others are going really well, so hopefully it all just comes together for all of us on the day of the race.”

The UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships take place at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg, and will be preceded by the UCI MTB Masters World Championships from August 21 to August 25.

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