The adaptation of the old Roman slogan is the only way to describe Max Knox from Specialized’s performances at local mountain bike events: “I came, I rode, I conquered”. Despite all of his success Knox’s hunger to win is not fulfilled yet.
He set himself one last goal for 2012. That is to win the Momentum 94.7 Mountain Bike Challenge on 11 November. It has certainly been a season of firsts for the modest rider from Sabie. Knox won the South African marathon title for the first time. His overall victory in the MTN National MTB ultra-marathon series was also a first, as were his three victories in the series.
Another definite highlight was finishing 18th at the UCI Marathon World Championship in Ornans, France. Kevin Evans (Nedbank360Life) is the only other South African to have finished in the top twenty at the World Championship. Knox was also fifth overall at the recent Langkawi International Mountain Bike Challenge.
As far as the Momentum 94.7 Mountain Bike Challenge is concerned Knox admits that it might be a case of a proverbial fool rushing in where angels fear to tread.
“The route for the Momentum 94.7 Mountain Bike Challenge has totally changed since the last time I raced it which means that I don’t really know what to expect. The only thing I am certain of is that I am going to have fun out there. It is however going to be my first race since taking a nice long break. So I am not sure how my body will hold up.”
According to Knox winning the Momentum 94.7 Mountain Bike Challenge is sure way to get some exposure for his sponsors. “I feel that it is a must do race for any professional rider”. Knox said he has not yet made any final decision as to what his goals for next season will be. “Naturally I would like to defend my South African title and get some good results in the MTN National MTB Series but I would also like to start getting some good results in major stage races. Next year World Championship will definitely be a major goal. I now know what to expect.”
“The most important lesson I learnt is that you don’t just rock up at a World Championship and expect to do well. You have to give serious consideration about what equipment you are going to use. I cannot even begin to describe the racing conditions at Ornans as none of you will be able to comprehend what we had to go through. In South African racing it is possible to get good results using wrong equipment, but not on the ‘world stage’.
“For example at the World Championship it was important to race with proper mud tyres that enabled you to ride most of the way, if you did not you ended up running.”