From riding in the Junior category last year, the biggest change for Du Toit, she feels, has been the number of laps. “With racing in the Elite category comes added pressure as well. At first it was difficult to race with the increased pressure but I'm learning to deal with it better at every race,” she added.

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2015 SA Junior Women’s XCO National Champion, Frankie du Toit, is preparing for the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial XCO Championships, taking place at Cascades MTB Park on Saturday 25 June Photo credit: Paul Botma

The Kargo Pro MTB Team rider is feeling great ahead of next weekend’s Provincial Championship, after taking the overall Women’s win at the Baynesfield Classic MTB at the weekend, and the Karkloof Classic victory the weekend before. The 19-year-old is eager to put her training to the test at the Provincials.

“I feel good, we've changed a few things with my training and it seems to be working well. Well, it has worked in the marathons and longer distance races and I'm looking forward to see if it works with XCO racing,” she said.

Looking back to just a year ago, Du Toit said: “Wow! I've changed a lot since a year ago. I've learnt many things, and not just about cycling; many life lessons too. But in terms of cycling, I've learnt through my experiences this year and especially from my teammates, like Alan Hatherly. One thing I have learnt is that being a professional cyclist is hard, but rewarding work.”

Du Toit heads off to Bloemfontein this weekend to take part in the last round of the Stihl 2016 SA MTB Cup XCO Series, which will provide the necessary tweaking in the cross-country discipline before she tackles the Provincial Championships the following weekend.

Entries for the KZNMTB Provincial XCO Championships are open and close on Wednesday 22 June. To enter, click here: http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1734. Late entries will be accepted at Registration, with a nominal fee of R50.

For any further details, please visit www.kznmtb.co.za. For more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde info@kznmtb.co.za.