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21 year old Pietermaritzburg downhill racer Tim Bentley plans to make full use of his selection for the national team for the UCI Mountain Bike and trials World Championships in August.

Photo: Darren Goddard/Cycho Media/Gameplan Media

Bentley has been one of the sport’s trailblazers and a regular performer at the Cascades downhill track, even though he says the nature of the track doesn’t suit his natural style.

“I like it steep and technical!” says Bentley, who is currently committed to his mechanical engineering studies. “The Cascades course is tough because it is physical and fast. It has steep technical sections but you have to be fit to be fast over the pedally mid-section.”

With the advantage of a familiar home course for the World Championships, Bentley is working on his overall conditioning and fitness to ensure he is as competitive as possible when the world’s best downhill racers swing into town late in August.

Bentley, who is backed by Specialized and Fox, is urging local MTB and sports fans to get to the Cascades course to support the local riders.

“It almost seems unreal! I really didn’t think I would see the day when the World Championships would be happening in my city,” said Bentley. “Now I will be there in my nation’s colours and I want to make the most of the opportunity.”

“I firmly believe that a top twenty finish is realistic and you can be sure I am going to give it my best shot,” he added. “I can’t wait to get to the top of the course knowing that my friends and family will be there to support me.”

“It will be an unbelievable spectacle and I really urge people to make the effort to get there. Not only are you guaranteed a great sporting spectacle, but the support for the local riders will make a huge difference,” he said.

On his day Bentley can be unbeatable, as he proved winning the last two legs of the national downhill series. He missed the series opening meeting, and crashed out of the second leg, leaving him third in the series overall. He also won the final two legs of the KZN series to finish second overall.

The UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships takes place at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg from 26 August to 1 September 2013, and will be preceded by the UCI MTB Masters World Championships from21 to 25 August. More information can be found at www.mtbworldchamps.co.za