Team SA prepare for DHI World Championships

The 2016 UCI MTB World Downhill Championships is upon us, and takes place this year in Val di Sole, Italy from 6-11 September. The South African team prepares for a great week of bike building, preparation and practice ahead of the main competition events on Saturday and Sunday.

South African National Elite Men’s Downhill Champion, Stefan Garlicki (Investec) said: “The vibe here at the moment is great, everyone’s excited and the weather is good for the time being.”

 

South African Downhill team.jpg
The South African Downhill Team prepares ahead of the 2016 UCI MTB World Downhill Championships in Val di Sole, Italy from 6-11 September. Photo: Struan McMaster

 

The Capetonian mentioned that there is rain predicted for the weekend, but is holding thumbs that it blows over. “If there’s one track that you don’t want it to rain on, it would be this one,” he said. The Val di Sole track is steep, with many roots and rocks, which will prove to be a challenge for the riders in the wetter weather.

 

Garlicki is feeling excited ahead of his race, and has shaken his feelings of disappointment from failing to qualify for the Finals at the World Cup in Andorra at the weekend. “There were a few issues on my bike which I’ve managed to sort out and I am ready for the week, so we’ll see,” he added.

 

Although Garlicki mentioned that the team felt a lot smaller because there are no cross-country riders (as events are split this year), he did add that he enjoyed the fact that the events around the weekend will be purely focused on the discipline of Downhill.

 

He also didn’t hide away from the fact that the course won’t be an easy one. “I feel that, for our Junior riders, this will probably be the toughest track that they’ve raced. It’s definitely the most technical on the World Cup circuit” he said.

 

Junior rider, Coenie Slabbert (Giant South Africa) said: “At the moment I am really excited. It is a life long dream come true and a really big honour. I’ve seen the track, and it is really rough, but it looks like a lot of fun.”

 

Cullen McMaster, who also forms part of the Junior team along with Slabbert and Christopher Philogene (Lapierre South Africa), is enjoying his time in Italy so far, and says that the atmosphere is great. “Jokes are flying around, and everything is going really well,” he added.

 

When speaking about the track, McMaster said: “I walked a bit of the track yesterday and its looking top notch. I’m keen to start riding. Today is bike building and bike prep. I’m ready for the weekend.”

 

The Elite team this year also includes three-time World Champion, Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate), who recently added to his World Cup Podium tally when he claimed the silver medal at the UCI Downhill World Cup in Andorra at the weekend.

 

Jonathan Philogene (Lapierre) as well as Johann Potgieter also form part of the Elite Team.

 

This year’s team is managed by South African Downhill enthusiast Sam Bull, who sits out of competing due to injury. Bull had an unfortunate accident at the African Continental Downhill Championships in Lesotho early this year, resulting in him having a full ACL reconstruction, an MCL re-anchor and meniscal repair to his right knee. “I still wanted to be involved with the Downhill scene and remain current,” he added.

 

After competing in World Championships over the past few years, Bull felt that he could apply his experiences and lessons learnt to some of those in the team. “I felt like I could help out a lot and provide for the riders what they require in order to perform at their best. I want to help with the minor details that make the world of difference,” he said.

 

Bull is eager to help the Junior riders with bike set-up, line selection and mental approach to the weekend. “It’s a course I know quite well having ridden it for the past few years. I’m hoping to help bring out the best in the riders, and although I would have loved to have been riding, for now my goal is to provide the best possible platform for the athletes to achieve,” he said.

 

For more information about the 2016 UCI Downhill World Championships, click here: http://www.valdisole...champs-mtb-2016




12 Comments

Stretch, Sep 08 2016 08:47

Team photo without greg...bit odd that

Gen, Sep 08 2016 09:04

Team photo without greg...bit odd that

Greg was probably not around when the pic was taken..

Vetplant, Sep 08 2016 09:05

Are the contesting a Spelling Bee? 

"Word Championships?" ;)

Stretch, Sep 08 2016 09:09

Greg was probably not around when the pic was taken..

 

yeah...i realise that - but then take the photo when they all together

Gen, Sep 08 2016 09:36

yeah...i realise that - but then take the photo when they all together

I am sure there will be more to follow.

rock, Sep 08 2016 12:01

Neethling?

nigelhicks, Sep 08 2016 12:13

yeah...i realise that - but then take the photo when they all together

 

Greg does not stay with the team ... he stays with the Syndicate at Worlds ... if you look at all the Worlds pictures from previous years neither Minnaar or Needles are in the pics as they are with their respective trade teams ... 

 

Although Pottie and Stefan are on teams they are essentially "privateers" so can gain from the funding for accommodation and meals etc supplied by CSA for worlds.

 

Its the same in the pits at Worlds ... as the Syndicate have paid for a stand Greg Pits there and not with the SA team who pit out of a small trailer with a single gazebo ...

nigelhicks, Sep 08 2016 12:14

Neethling?

 

Didnt make the selection criteria based on UCI and CSA regulations. ...

 

This has brought about a rethink in the criteria - which I personally think is needed for SA.

rock, Sep 08 2016 12:28

Didnt make the selection criteria based on UCI and CSA regulations. ...

 

This has brought about a rethink in the criteria - which I personally think is needed for SA.

 

so if someone like GM gets injured next year and sits out the WC season and is all fit by August next year they wont let him race world champs?

Stretch, Sep 08 2016 12:36

Didnt make the selection criteria based on UCI and CSA regulations. ...

 

This has brought about a rethink in the criteria - which I personally think is needed for SA.

 

he must have raced enough world cups this year to qualify..surely?

Stretch, Sep 08 2016 12:36

Greg does not stay with the team ... he stays with the Syndicate at Worlds ... if you look at all the Worlds pictures from previous years neither Minnaar or Needles are in the pics as they are with their respective trade teams ... 

 

Although Pottie and Stefan are on teams they are essentially "privateers" so can gain from the funding for accommodation and meals etc supplied by CSA for worlds.

 

Its the same in the pits at Worlds ... as the Syndicate have paid for a stand Greg Pits there and not with the SA team who pit out of a small trailer with a single gazebo ...

 

i get all that - but if its Team SA then just haul him over and take a pic with him in it...yeah I am being pedantic

Shebeen, Sep 08 2016 12:47

i get all that - but if its Team SA then just haul him over and take a pic with him in it...yeah I am being pedantic

yep, could be easier to take these okes to the syndicate pits...maybe they tried and this pic was better than no pic.