“I rode every day in my month off, but purely just to be on my bike – we have such amazing riding out here in KZN. It was so good to be out there and just unwind,” he said.

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Sportsnut DH Team rider, Sam Bull is happy to be back home and racing in the first round of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial Enduro and DHI Series taking place at St. Ives from 20-21 February. Photo credit: Marc Farrés

Bull enjoys being back in the routine of training. “It’s always good to have something to follow which keeps you motivated. I want to do well, so I don’t struggle to find the motivation to put in the hard hours,” he added.

In terms of the opening round, Bull hopes to take the title. “Of course I am hoping to win – you race to win, and if you say you’re not you’re only kidding yourself,” he laughed. “I’m a competitive person so I always want to win. There are also a lot of fast local guys and up-and-coming young juniors who are riding really well. In these fast, short courses, anything can happen. These provincials are always a challenge but I enjoy them because they are a challenge, so you’re always putting pressure on yourself,” he said.

Excited about stiff competition, Bull also said that he was glad to see how the sport was growing.

On Provincial racing, Bull said: “Provincials keep me fresh. I would’ve planned to be on the bike on a weekend anyway, but it keeps the actual racing fresh. You can easily go on timed runs on the weekend on your own, but nothing quite matches a race weekend and the environment around it – it keeps you on your toes. I enjoy it.”

Having never actually raced at the St. Ives course before, Bull mentioned that he was involved in the development and building process of the track. “It’s great when the riding community comes in to help. Nigel Hicks and crew always do an awesome job, so I love to try and lend a hand, and offer ideas where I can,” he said.

Bull managed to have a few practice runs at the weekend, and said that the course is great. “It flows, there are some cool jumps and a great shuttle route. This course is going to be good for people being introduced to the sport to see what it’s all about, enjoy it and have a good weekend,” he added.

On the 2016 season as a whole, Bull mentioned that he has set many personal goals for himself on the bike. “I want to have the season that I know I’m capable of. I want to put in the work, but also enjoy it – that’s the main thing. I’m really excited for this season and hope it’s going to be a great year,” he concluded.

Entries for the first round of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial Enduro and DHI Series – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles are open and close at midnight on Wednesday 17 February 2016. (http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1727).

For more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde info@kznmtb.co.za.