Hilton based downhill mountain bike rider Tim Bentley is locked in a race against time to shake off a stubborn ’flu virus that is hampering his training and final preparations for the 2012 RockyRoads UCI MTB World Cup in Pietermaritzburg from 16th to 18th March.

Bentley is a team rider with the Hitchinson United Ride outfit that was founded at the Morewood bike factory and includes MTB downhill icon “Sick Mick” Hannah and his sister, former junior world champion Tracey Hannah, French junior ace Guillaume Cauvin and rider manager Fabien “CousCous” Cousinié.

“I really want to get rid of this bug as quickly as I can so that I can get back to riding and gym and my final preparations,” said Bentley, who is quickly establishing himself as a downhiller to be reckoned with after his first full year on tour with the team, racing at all the major events and World Cups.


Local downhill star Tim Bentley is determined to shake off a ’flu virus before the start of the 2012 RockyRoads UCI MTB World Cup Pietermaritzburg from 16 to 18 March. Photo Credit: Dave Macleod/Gameplan Media

“Mick Hannah is a legend and to race on the same team as him is brilliant,” he continued. “It makes a huge difference to have the support of a team behind you. It’s not just having technical experts to help you set up your bike or repair it, but it also takes the pressure off and allows you to focus on what you do best.”

The team has paved the way for Bentley to enjoy the services of a gym trainer and a personal trainer using hi-tech analysis data from his base in Cape Town to get the most out of his preparations and recovery phases before the World Cup.

Being a Pietermaritzburg based downhiller, Bentley is passionate about the World Cup, which is the first international event of the 2012 UCI World Cup circuit, and is sure to attract the best riders keen to test themselves on the layout that has been modified for the 2013 World Championships.

Bentley has raced in the shadows of South African downhill superstar Greg Minnaar throughout his career, and is carefully constructing his credentials by racing consistently well at major international downhill events.

“I want to make sure that I stay in the top 40 in all of the World Cups, and then take my chances when and where I can,” says Bentley, who plans to use the KZN championships at the Cascades MTB Park layout the week before the World Cup to fine tune his lines down the hillside.

Bentley was introduced into downhill mountain biking as a fearless 12-year-old through BMX racing and still enjoys freestyle BMX riding as a way to relax.

The RockyRoads UCI MTB World Cup Pietermaritzburg takes place at the Cascades MTB Park from 16th to 18th March 2012. More information can be found at www.mtbworldcupsa.co.za