"After a hard week of training, my sights were still set on the Gauteng Champs, but most importantly on the SA XCO Champs coming up," says William. "I started the race with a bit of heavy legs. My plan was to pace myself for the first two laps - as I was also riding it blind - and go all out for the last few laps. It worked well. This whole year I've just had to learn what works for me."
William first won the series as an Elite rider in 2015, and has been within the top 3 places of the finals every year since then.
At the end of 2018, he was diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma after being plagued by health issues for the last two years. Due to his allergies to dust, grass, pollen and other environmental irritants, the condition had worsened over time and he was not able receive adequate treatment because he was incorrectly diagnosed - usually with sinus or flu-like symptoms.
This caused him to withdraw from a number of races and in some cases, he was unable to train for weeks at a time, which was also a setback to his fitness levels. Frustrated and confused at not being able to perform consistently due to these health issues, William was determined to solve the problem and did not give up on seeking medical assistance.
Since receiving the correct treatment, his training has been more consistent and he has spent the first half of this year on strengthening his mental and physical condition.
With the support of his new bike partner, Titan Racing, and continued investment from his title sponsor, Triviron Project Management, William has come back onto the racing circuit stronger than ever before.
The race was an important part of his preparation for the SA MTB XCO Championships which will take place on the same course on 20th July 2019.
"I'm really looking forward to the SA XCO Champs. It will be a very competitive race and I look forward to being on the start line with the best riders in the country," he concludes.