Zim MTB team readies for champs

HARARE – Zimbabwe Mountain Bike coach Linda Davidson admits her team’s chances of excelling at the UCI MTB and Trials World Championships are thin but feels the competition offers a profound effect on the cyclists.

The Zimbabwe junior mountain bike side are currently in South Africa for the MTB World Championships that take place in Pietermaritzburg from August 26 to September 1.

The mountain bike extravaganza sees close to 60 countries competing for honours in different categories.

Zimbabwe will compete in the Junior World Championships category on August 29.

The side comprises of three junior boys in the form of Falcon College’s Alexander Gifford, Peterhouse’s Michael Adamson and Mark Mackenzie from Lomagundi College.

Hellenic International Academy’s Natasha Lawson, is the only junior girl in the squad.

The Zimbabwean team was chosen following seven national mountain bike events that culminated in the Zimbabwe National MTB Championships held at Lomagundi College in July.

Davidson, a highly decorated former Zimbabwe triathlon champion, says it will be difficult for Zimbabwe to come out with any remarkable results against some of the world’s top athletes.

“The junior boys have a much higher fitness level than when they competed at the Continentals in March although obviously the competition will also be stiffer as the World's best athletes line up to race for their respective countries,” she told the Daily News.

Davidson who left with the Zimbabwean team by road on Thursday said she was putting her team under pressure

“It is difficult to know what to expect from the team but the fact that we are there and opening the doors for future Zimbabwean mountain bikers is already an achievement to be proud of,” she said.

The former Zimbabwe Triathlon champion thanked the Zimbabwe Judo Association president Pat Warren for helping with the travel logistics.

She said: “Grateful thanks to Patricia Warren for use of her vehicle and to Lomagundi College for use of their bicycle trailer.”

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