Biker Josh in bid to become world champ
AMOUNTAIN biker at the peak of his career has set his sights on becoming world champion.
Josh Bryceland, 24, who started out riding off-road around Poynton, will take on the world’s best racers at the downhill mountain biking world championships next weekend.
He’s already got a junior world title under his belt and is leading the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) World Cup series at the moment.
Josh, who is nicknamed Rat Boy, said: “I’ve never had the result I want at the world championships, but this could be my year. There’s a lot to learn with downhill, physically and mentally, but I’ve matured as a racer. I don’t like to say too much but I’ve never felt fitter or stronger.”
Josh, who lives on a canal boat in Higher Poynton, grew up in Poynton with dad Iain, mum Louisa and sister Maria. Josh was inspired from a young age by his dad who raced motocross and introduced him to mountain biking world champ Steve Peat.
Josh admits Poynton isn’t the hilliest place to practice downhill, so he’s spent a lot of time training in the Peak District and travelling to North Wales.
Josh said: “Since I was tiny I’ve ridden a mountain bike, downhill was the next step. Racing cross country is about fitness but downhill is more skills based, it’s more dangerous and exciting and that’s what I love.”
The extreme sports fan has suffered injuries including a dislocated hip and broken collar bone. He has travelled the world with his California-based Santa Cruz Syndicate rac- ing team - visiting South Africa, Australia, Canada and the United States so far this year. He admits it isn’t a bad lifestyle.
Josh said: “Since I bought my first mountain bike magazine and saw what the professionals do I thought, I want a piece of that. With the help of my dad and the people around me, I’ve achieved that. It’s a dream come true and I wouldn’t swap it for anything.”
Josh races in the UCI World Cup in Meribel, France this weekend and the World Championships from September 3 to 7 in Hafjell, Norway.
●● Mountain biker Josh Bryceland