Fast start is key to Moss making the grade

7:10am Monday 21st November 2011

USED to travelling downhill at lightening speeds, Knutsford mountain biker Alex Moss will have to start getting used to a racing career that is rising just as rapidly.

Recently crowned English Champion at the Downhill Mountain Biking Championships, the 21-year-old student at Aberystwyth University has only been competing since January, but has just finished his first full season ranked fifth in the country.

But as Alex tells the Guardian, his title-winning weekend in Moelfre, Wales, almost never happened.

“I had spent the whole week in bed and hadn’t been on my bike at all,” he said.

“I wasn’t even going to race as I didn’t feel well enough, but I went for it and I’m so glad I did.”

Downhill mountain biking is not a sport for the faint hearted, as competitors race custom-built bikes down steep slopes and hills at breakneck pace, often including jumps and obstacles in the runs.

The fact Moss is able to claim a national title after such a short amount of time competing is impressive enough, but the inexperienced rider has also earned a passage into the Elite category for next season.

Leaping two grades of competition in ten months, the Sport Sciences student is trying to take this rapid rise to prominence in his stride.

He said: “It is a bit daunting, as in my first event this year I came 17th and since then I have been improving and getting consistent second-place finishes.

“But I have already come a long way and now I have some sponsorship from Noble Racing, so next year I will be competing every week at the top level.”

Moss will spend the winter focusing on cross country events to improve his fitness before launching himself into the new season at Elite level next year.

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