“Honestly it feels unreal. Each win feels almost better than the next.
“To get this at a later stage in my career is really amazing.”
Potgieter, 33, said heading into the event he did not really have high expectations. He knew he was a contender, but he also knew there were some fast riders out there on “a very unpredictable track”, so it was going to be really difficult.
“In the end my goal would have been to just cross the line and know that I have done my best and given it my all. Luckily this time it was good enough!”
Potgieter said they had a practice day the day before the race where the riders had the opportunity to learn the track, try different lines and ensure their bikes were set up for the track.
“Then on race day we have about an hour and a half of practice in the morning and then the race day consisted of two runs – a seeding and a race run.
“Only the race run counts for the result in the end and the first run seeds you for your start.”
He said his seeding run was good – until his front wheel hit a loose rock coming out of a corner and shot him straight off the track at high speed.
“I had to then push up and enter the track where I left it, so that resulted in me having seeded quite low down with an earlier start.
“I knew I had to watch out for that section in the final, so in my last run I rode relatively risky and managed a good run. However I had some gnarly moments, but when I crossed the line I was happy with the run I rode.”
He felt the track was “pretty challenging” as a whole, in the sense that it was very narrow with just one line mostly.
“It was also very, very loose. Not so hard to just ride down but very hard to race, if that makes sense.
“If you went off line you would have a crash or lose mega time, so staying on your line was very important.
“I wouldn’t say there was a part that didn’t particularly suit me as such, but carrying speed was the main objective and that is very difficult when conditions are so loose and slippery.”
The Port Elizabethan said that downhill was probably one of the hardest sports in terms of what you have to put in for such a short race run.
“Your bike setup needs to be right, you have to have the anaerobic capacity to go full intensity for a whole run and you have to make sure you know the course and have good lines.
“Then there is also the balance between riding at your limit and risking a bit for extra speed but also try to stay on the bike and not hurt yourself. It is very unpredictable as conditions change a lot on the course and with weather and you only have one chance to make it happen.
“I do love the excitement of downhill and also the exclusivity of it. The equipment we use is something that a little boy would put on his bedroom wall as a poster and it is a very impressive sport to watch. And I like speed a lot.”
Potgieter, who races for the Team Racing Dudes in Germany, said he would be racing some of the IXS Downhill Cup races in Europe this year and his goal was to do well overall.
“I will also take part in one or two world cup races, so making the qualifying there is also a big goal.”