If you have been following the MTB scene, you are sure to have seen Ian Els shredding the trails and coming out tops! 

Ian hails from Pretoria and is at Garsfontein High school. Ian absolutely LOVES cycling – it has been a part of his life for as long as he can remember, and he describes it as his happy place. Ian has worked very hard to achieve what he has, but it certainly helps that he rides for the love of it! Ian formally started training at the age of 11 and has gone on to excel at almost every event that he has taken part in. 

We asked Ian to share his top 5 pre-race training tips for the SA XCO Cup Series #5 with us, and this is his advice:

  • Be sure that you have thoroughly checked your bike, and that it is race ready two days before a race. Nobody likes nasty surprises 5 minutes before the gun goes off!
  • You need to know every corner of that track like you know every little scratch on your bike.
  • Pace, pace! Remember that it is a XCO race and not a time trial. You need to choose a pace that you can maintain throughout the race.
  • Use your head – remember you can lose a race due to an obstacle, being reckless over an obstacle will not necessarily mean winning the race.
  • Last but not least, have fun – that is the reason why I ride!