The National Cross Country Championship kicks off at Legends MX on Saturday, 26 February. Husqvarna Racing’s star-studded line-up consists of Brett Swanepoel and Davin Cocker, two young athletes bristling with all the talent needed to bring home their respective championship titles this season.
As a multi-disciplined star, Swanepoel will be spearheading the hunt for glory in the National Enduro, National Extreme Enduro and National Cross Country Championship. The team has revealed an exciting change for the new season as the rider returns to his trusty Husqvarna FX 350 in the Cross Country OR2 Championship.
Swanepoel has also set his sights on winning both the National Enduro and National Extreme Enduro Championship on his Husqvarna TE 300i, where he will be taking on a highly competitive field of riders in the E2 Class.
We catch up with the rider ahead as his first race of the season approaches:
You’re stepping into the season as the reigning overall Enduro Champion. What are the greatest lessons from last season you think will help you defend that title in 2022?
Something that last season taught me is that it’s not over until the very end. I started off the season with food poisoning and it actually looked like the championship was over for me. I went on to win every round after that and the last race of the season counted for double points, so I managed to take the overall victory by a few points! I realized that every race counts and it’s not just about how you start, but also how you finish.
As a multi-disciplined star, you’ll also be racing in the OR2 Cross Country Class. Why the change of class this season?
The Husqvarna FX 350 is just the best all-rounder bike that I’ve experienced and the one that really stands out when I look at my racing career so far. It’s so versatile and its top end speed is incredible – I get so excited at the thought of racing it. So when the opportunity came to move back to the OR2 Class, I went for it!
What has your pre-season training involved? Is there anything new about your training this season that could possibly give you that extra edge?
This off season I actually adopted a ‘less is more’ approach. I often get caught up in training too much and pushing my body into the ground. I’m still training really hard and enjoying a lot of time on the bike, but also giving my body enough time to recover before a race.
What are your goals with the Husqvarna Racing team?
I really want to get the number one Cross Country plate back. I missed out on that last year. The main goal is to win all three championships this season – The National Enduro, Extreme and Cross Country Championship. The Roof of Africa is also a big goal for the end of year – I want to give that a proper push and finish right up top.
I would also like to do some overseas races. I really believe that will help me up my game locally. When you race against the best in the world, you have no choice but to level it up.