03:47AM, Wednesday 05 September 2012
A mechanical engineer is celebrating after winning the British Mountain Biking National Championships.
Luke Smith, who works at De Beers UK, in Belmont Road, Maidenhead, was confirmed as champion on Saturday last week.
He can now wear the red, white and blue National Champion Jersey worldwide for a year.
Luke said: "It is the biggest prize in domestic cycling."
The 32-year-old is now top of the national ranking in this category with 690 points after winning four of the five rounds.
He said: "Unfortunately I snapped my chain in the third round but still managed to repair it and come back to finish in second. If it was not for this mechanical incident this year would have been a clean sweep for me."
Rounds are 90 minutes long and vary in terrain and incline to test different mountain biking skills.
Luke raced in his teens, but did not take it up again until his early 20s.
“One day my work colleagues asked if I wanted to go for an after work cycle and it was enough to trigger my passion for racing again.”
He has been racing as an adult now for 10 years with his current sponsor Whyte Bikes.
He admits one of the most difficult parts of his life is balancing cycling with work and spending time with his partner Joanne Howse, 27.
"She has to deal with the training regime too and the nutritional aspects of that too. We have a two-week break now until I get back into training," he said.
"It’s a team effort from the both of us for me to do well."
Luke, who lives in Amersham, will start training again for the next season at the end of September.
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