With the World Champs taking place at home, in South Africa this year, it has presented an ideal opportunity for our Elite and Junior riders to experience the atmosphere and racing at world level. As host nation, South Africa is also afforded the benefit of a full quota of seven riders in each category, for both women and men, in the Junior, Under-23 and Elite categories.
Pietermaritzburg local and reigning Downhill World Champion Greg Minnaar. Photo credit: Santa Cruz Syndicate
In addition, with South African Greg Minnaar as the reigning World Downhill Champion, we are allocated another slot, which allows us to enter eight Elite Men in the Downhill race.
To make full use of this opportunity, Cycling SA’s Mountain Bike Commission has decided to apply a policy of maximum participation, and thus to fill the available entry quota. This was drafted into the team selection policy, as a special dispensation for 2013. However, riders were still assessed on the basis of their performances and commitment in the nominated selection races, and can all be justifiably proud to represent South Africa.
This has resulted in the selection of the biggest team that South Africa has entered in a World Championship. Particularly gratifying is the fact that we have been able to select four development riders to the team for the first time. We wish our riders well, and are confident that living, racing and absorbing this experience will have a positive impact on their lives and their future in the sport.