Brother Leader Tread KTM are gearing up for the start of the 2022 National Cross Country and Enduro Championship. The first race of the season takes Cross Country riders to Legends MX this weekend – a working farm in Gauteng with maze, cattle and indigenous wildlife.
Leading the charge for national titles is the multi-disciplined star, Bradley Cox. The rider took top honours last season when he snatched up the overall National Cross Country Championship and National Enduro E1 Championship. As a nine-time National Champion, the rider mentions feeling particularly excited to chase his 10th title this year.
“I’m stepping into the season with the number one plates – this is the first time in my career I’ve been able to do this. It’s a new pressure for me, but having the same goals and mindset as last year will help me defend my titles. I’m so excited to try get into the double digits of South African titles,” said Cox.
Adding to the rider’s sense of confidence this season is his recent success at the 2022 Dakar Rally. Not only did he finish what is deemed as one of the toughest races in the world, but was the third-fastest Rookie and placed 25th in the Overall General Classification. With a wealth of experience, Cox will represent the orange team in the prestigious OR1 Cross Country Class and E1 Enduro Class this season.
“The experience I gained at the Dakar was invaluable and I’ll definitely apply the things I learnt there to my racing locally. The OR1 Class is the premier class, so I stepped up to KTM 450 XC-F to represent my team. Last season was my stepping year to the KTM 450 XC-F and I’m so excited to finally be on this machine. In Enduro I’ll be racing the KTM 250 EXC-F, so to be on a 4-stroke in both disciplines will give me a good sense of consistency.”
In the highly competitive field of Cross Country riders, Brother Leader Tread KTM will unleash the flying Zambian, Scott Heygate this season. The rider will represent the orange squad in the OR2 Class aboard a KTM 350 XC-F.
The 20-year-old lives on a farm on the outskirts of a small town in Zambia called Chingola and practically grew up on a 50cc that his grandfather bought him at five years old. Heygate has since gone on to win the Zambian Motocross Championship the last five years in a row and in 2021 finished second in the South African National Cross Country Championship in the OR3 class.
Joining Heygate in the fight for OR2 glory is Kerim Fitz-Gerald, who will be riding for Red Bull KTM. After an incredibly successful motocross career, the multiple national champion has taken up the challenge of Cross Country racing. With years of experience to fall back on, the rider has plenty of grit to go with his raw talent and will be a favourite for the title this season.
The team will also be adding young gun Matthew Wilson to their cross country roster, who will competing in the OR3 Class this season. The 17-year-old has been winning championships since the age of nine with multiple Gauteng Regional and National Championships under his belt.
Wilson first stepped onto a bike at the age of three and by age eight was already going bar to bar with his rivals on a 65cc. The rider does most of his riding at Rhino Park and is also dedicated to putting in the work off the bike with a rigorous gym schedule.
In a massive scoop for the Enduro Brother Leader Tread KTM team last season, Blake Gutzeit stepped onto a KTM 300 XC-W TPI from November 2021. He will spearhead the hunt for a national title in the highly competitive E2 Class.
Hailing from the small town of Oslo Beach on the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal Natal, Gutzeit has rapidly become one of the most technically gifted riders in the world. Gutzeit’s first memory on a motorbike is at the age of three, but his racing career only actually started from about the age of 14.
The rider is a former Junior World Champion in SuperEnduro and currently lies fifth in the World Championship Prestige Class. His glittering resume includes a National Enduro title, a fourth place at the Roof of Africa and finishing the Erzberg Rodeo.
Brother Leader Tread KTM have also managed to capture the signing of exciting Enduro prospect Matthew Stevens, who will be riding in the J1 class on the KTM 125 XC this season. Stevens is the youngest ever finisher of the Gold Class at the IMPI Enduro and is already a two time national Enduro Champion.
Stevens has massive dreams and tells the story that at the age of nine he wrote his goals on the ceiling above his bed in permanent marker – one of those goals being to win the Roof of Africa in 2023. Stevens has an impressive work ethic and he stands by the ethos that his father has put in place for him: “Any goal is 100% doable if I have a plan, put in the work, surround myself with good people, and have a never-say-die attitude,” he said.