Champ biker Josh on top of the world

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - STU­ART GREER

AMOUN­TAIN biker has been crowned world cup cham- pion.

Josh Bryce­land, 24, who started out rid­ing off-road around Poyn­ton, came third in the France leg of the Union Cy­cliste In­ter­na­tionale (UCI) World Cup se­ries on Satur­day.

The podium fin­ish was enough for him to win the down­hill moun­tain bik­ing world cup cham­pi­onship.

It is his big­gest achieve­ment since win­ning the ju­nior world ti­tle in 2008.

Af­ter two days of cel­e­bra­tions, Josh is en route to Haf­jell in Nor­way for a one-off race for the World Cham­pi­onships.

Josh, who is nick­named Rat-Boy on the cir­cuit, said: “Go­ing into the last race I knew I was in a great po­si­tion – I just had to keep it to­gether. I was ner­vous. It’s a year’s worth of work on the line. I didn’t feel like I had rode well but I got third, which was enough. The World Cham­pi­onship is now my fo­cus. The World Cham­pi­onship is all or noth­ing.”

Josh’s vic­tory was watched by his dad, Iain, who trav­elled to France for the fi­nal event in the se­ries. Fans dressed in Josh masks and in­vaded the podium at the end of the race.

Josh said: “The crowd were crazy. Never had a re­ac­tion like that. It was un­be­liev­able.”

Josh, who lives on a canal boat in Higher Poyn- ton, grew up in Poyn­ton with dad, mum Louisa and sis­ter Maria.

He was in­spired from a young age by his dad who raced mo­tocross and in­tro­duced him to for­mer moun­tain bik­ing world champ Steve Peat.

Be­cause of the limited hills in Poyn­ton, Josh spent a lot of time train­ing in the Peak District and trav­el­ling to North Wales.

The ex­treme sports fan has suf­fered in­juries in­clud­ing a dis­lo­cated hip and bro­ken col­lar bone.

He has trav­elled the world with his Cal­i­for­ni­aased Santa Cruz Syn­di­ate rac­ing team – vis­it­ing outh Africa, Aus­tralia, Canada and the United tates so far this year.

De­spite his suc­cess Josh doesn’t an­tic­i­pate any dra­matic change to his lifetyle. He said: “There will be no big move to a city cen­tre part­ment or any­thing like hat, I am happy liv­ing on my boat and keep my feet

n the ground.”

●» Josh Bryce­land, the new world cup champ moun­tain biker

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