Manon Carpenter (Madasen Saracen) will be hoping to challenge for the world champion's rainbow stripes when she tackles the UCI MTB & Trials World Championships at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg at the end of August.
Photo: Supplied/Gameplan Media
Carpenter came second at the last leg of the World Cup in Andorra which has given her some confidence going into the World Championships and has meant that she has had a good season so far this year with a number of top five results.
“You could say that I have had a good season so far,” Carpenter said. “I’ve had a lot of second places at national and international level but I have to move one place up soon though!”
It was a tough opening season for the Madasen Saracen rider who was crocked by injury during the season but still managed to produce a respectable performance in the World Championships in Austria last year.
“It was my first year in the elite section last year which was tough but I managed to win the bronze at the World Champs after I picked up an injury in midseason.
“I have had no injuries this year and I’m fit and firing so I am going for gold this year,” the 20 year old added.
Being familiar with the Pietermaritzburg track is something that a lot of the riders will have in common considering they were at the Cascades MTB Park for the World Cup leg last year. Whether Carpenter can handle the conditions better than the other riders is going to be the issue for the Cardiff resident.
“Last year at Cascades I finished in second place just a smidge off the win and I feel it’s a track that suits me so I’m excited for this year’s World Champs there.
“Being able to get the jumps done smoothly in the middle section will make a huge difference come race day, so I’ll be paying special attention to those huge tabletops,” she explained.
Carpenter has made her intentions clear for the World Champs but there is going to be incredibly stiff competition for the Briton. She will have to show that she is capable of making that step up if she is going take the coveted title.
Manon Carpenter (Madasen Saracen) will hope to go one better than her string of recent second places when she takes part in the UCI MTB & Trials World Championships.
Photo: Supplied/Gameplan Media
“Rachel Atherton has been number one so far this year so she is going to be the obvious competition.
“Also Tracey Hannah is one to watch after she won there last year however she has been unlucky with injuries recently,” Carpenter mentioned.
It has been a busy season so far for Carpenter but being ready for the World Champs is something that has been in the forefront of her mind leading into the event. The bonus of racing in your national colours is something that is not lost on the young talent.
“It’s the biggest event of the year for me and a lot of my training has been geared towards this track in particular so it’s definitely the most important one.
“It’s also the one race of the year where we get to race in our Great Britain jerseys and represent our nation,” she said excitedly.
Having friends and family at the event is special for the riders but sometimes that is just not a reality and for Carpenter the trip to South Africa was too much but she is positive that there will be sufficient home support for her when she charges down the hill at Cascades.
“Unfortunately my family won’t be able to make it because it’s so far but they’ll be watching from home.
“There will be a lot of support and I’m sure the PMB crowd will make up for it!”
The UCI MTB & Trials World Championships take place at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg from 26 August - 1 September and are preceded by the UCI MTB Masters World Championships from 21 - 25 August 2013. More information can be found at www.mtbworldchamps.co.za