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Last year he had to win the MTN Hilton Dirt Fest ultra-race over 100km to ensure that he was also the overall winner of the MTN series.

Knox did exactly that.

The question now is whether he will be able to repeat that unique double.

As things stand at the moment, Knox leads Nico Bell (Westvaal/Bell Cycles) by 800 points, which means that the MTN series is still there for the taking.

If Bell should win or finish second and Knox does not finish in the top six, the final outcome of the series will be determined at the last race, the MTN Ride Crater Cruise in Parys.

Knox, who only arrived back in South Africa this week after having competed in the eight- day TransAlp mountain-bike tour, is not one to worry about what could or should happen.

“I love racing my mountain bike and the MTN Hilton Dirt Fest is one my favourite races. I will not miss it for anything.

“Of course I would love to win again, but I am not obsessed with it.

“If I give it my all and I win, it will be great. But if I should finish 10th knowing that I have pushed myself to the limit, I will still be happy. Nothing beats racing my mountain bike.

“I am really going to take things as they come, because I am not sure whether my ‘racing legs’ are back in South Africa yet.”

Asked why he loves racing at Hilton, Knox replied that he considers it to be a true mountain-bike challenge.

“It is a race with a lot of variation. There are some really steep climbs on the route, some challenging rocky sections, as well as enjoyable single tracks.

To top it all, the fact that it is always muddy adds to the fun.

“That is what I like about the MTN Series. You get the opportunity to ride in every imaginable condition. It varies from the arid Karoo, muddy KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo bushveld, Lowveld mountains, as well as the Free State mountains.

“This means that, to win the MTN series overall, you need to be a complete rider with the ability to adapt to any condition.”

Lourens Luus (RE:CM), who is one of the most consistent riders in the MTN Series, is the one rider who is capable of spoiling the fun for Knox and Bell.

Luus was second at Tulbagh as well as Wellington, 4th in Barberton and 6th in Sabie.

If the health issues of Charles Keey (Cannondale/Blend Properties) are something of the past, he will also be a rider to watch.

He won the MTN Sabie and MTN Tulbagh races and was 3rd in Barberton.

Johann Rabie (NuWater), who won the Nissan Diamond Rush, and Matthew Brittain (USN) are the two proverbial jokers.

If the experienced riders should become involved in all sorts of cat and mouse games, there is an excellent chance that one of these two could ride away with the spoils.