Local MTB aces to race in Canada

2010-07-27 00:00

The UCI BMX World Championships begin on Thursday at the Royal Showgrounds in Pietermaritzburg and interest in the event appears to be escalating. However, two Grace College students are looking forward eagerly to September’s World Downhill Mountain Biking Championships in Canada.

Timothy Bentley (Grade 12) and Simon Dinkelman (Grade 11), pupils at Grace College in Hilton, will be joining Greg Minaar, Andrew Neethling and Johan Potgieter to make up the South African team that will compete in Quebec at the Mount Saint Anne course later this year.

The two students impressed in their performances at the recent South African National Downhill Mountain Biking Championships held in Fort Klapperkop in Pretoria in July.

Bentley was crowned the new under-18 South African downhill mountain biking champion and Dinkelman the runner-up.

The pair qualified to participate in Canada after the completion of the South African National Cup series, which was based on five events, including the nationals in Pretoria.

With Bentley winning the series and Dinkelman finishing second, the Grace College students were informed that they would represent the South African under-18 team in Canada.

This will be the biggest stage that Dinkelman has performed on in his career. “I’m extremely happy. It means that I’ve accomplished one of my dreams,” he said.

This will be Bentley’s second appearance at the World Downhill championships after he competed in Australia last year, finishing 22nd in the under-18 category.

“I feel a lot stronger and more prepared this time around,” he explained.

“I am hoping for a top 10 finish in Canada.”

Grace College has also produced South African under-16 downhill mountain biking champion, Tiaan Odendaal, who also competed at the nationals in Pretoria. He will not compete in Canada as the World Championships only accommodate for the elite and under-18 categories.

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