Biker Josh in bid to be­come world champ

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - KAREN BRIT­TON

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

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