NATIONAL CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIP – LEGENDS MX
Husqvarna Racing kicked off the National Cross Country Championship with victory. The first round of the series took riders to Gauteng’s Legends MX, where leading rider Brett Swanepoel stormed to the win in the OR2 Class and second place overall.
Swanepoel was off to a slow start by his own high standards after the time trial. As the first rider to ‘feel out’ the loop, he lost some time as navigated through the different sections of the route. By the time he lined-up for the main race, he had 40 seconds to make up as he chased down leading rider Bradley Cox.
“I knew I had a bit of work to do, so I put my head down and pushed really hard. I made sure to not make careless mistakes and didn’t take any unnecessary risks. One small mistake at the first race of the season can cost you greatly, so I found a good flow and gained more confidence with each passing lap,” said Swanepoel.
The rider describes gaining confidence with each competitor that he passed and feeling surprisingly stronger as the track got rougher. It was a proud moment for the team when Swanepoel crossed the finish line having not only taken the OR2 Class win but made up enough time to finish in second overall.
The event also marked the rider’s return to his Husqvarna FX 350. He commented: “I can’t describe how good it felt to be back on the FX 350 – everything about that bike works for me. It’s an all-rounder and I love racing when I’m on that bike! The track was also good – we obviously love our KwaZulu-Natal terrain, but this was one of the best Gauteng races that we’ve ever had.”
It was a bittersweet race for rising talent Davin Cocker. The event showcased his immense potential in the sport but also presented one of his most challenging days in the saddle yet.
After a blistering time trial, Cocker lined-up with a second place start. He battled it out with frontrunners Bradley Cox and Mike Pentecost and grabbed the opportunity to take the overall lead on a rocky climb.
It was an unforgettable experience for the rider as he held onto the lead right up until the third lap. In an unfortunate turn of events, however, Cocker got stuck in a mud hole and lost both time and positions. He commented, “It was real anti-climax after an incredible start to the race. I struggled to get out of the hole and then to add to it, I had a silly fall when my hands slipped off the grips because of all the mud. I had to take it easy to the finish line after that.”
While the day didn’t end as Cocker had hoped, he certainly proved that he has what it takes to challenge the frontrunners in this sport and will come back swinging in the next round.
Published by: Grant Frerichs
Photography by: ZCMC Media