After a relatively successful 2017, Max Knox hopes to make a mark in the South African mountain-bike scene this season.
“It’s unfortunate,” he told In the Bunch today. “But it has given me the opportunity to ride in events that I would never have done otherwise.”
His main goals for the rest of season are now centred on the Trailseeker Series, comprising seven races ‒ four in Gauteng and three in the Western Cape.
“That’s where my focus will be for the next few months,” Knox said. “And then there’s the national mountain-bike championships event in July, which is part of the series.
“I think I am in a good place to challenge in those races,” he added.
Knox, who tends to favour longer races, agrees that the shorter events could pose a stern challenge.
“I am better in the longer rides, normally over 100 to 120km, such as those in the ultra-marathon series and in some stages of the Cape Epic. That is where my strengths lie.
“It will be more difficult to compete in the shorter events, but I will have to adapt and give it my best.
“It is hard to wear the other guys down in the shorter races. There are often much bigger groups fighting for the win and less room for mistakes.
“I have not always done as well in those events as I would have liked to, but I hope I can correct that this year.”
Knox also decided to skip some top mountain-bike races this year, such as the Tankwa Trek and the Cape Epic, because he has been unable to find a “competitive enough” partner.
“It’s always difficult to find teammates if you aim to win,” he said. “Just aiming for a top-10 is not who I am. I don’t like riding in fifteenth place if I know I can be at the front.”
Knox has competed mainly in regional races for the first part of the year and intends to ride in two more before taking on the first Trailseeker Series Gauteng event in Buffelsdrift on May 5.