Mountain bike racer Joshua Morris has qualified for next year’s British Downhill Series after being named the English senior champion.

The 20-year-old, from Bury, won the Borderline Events England Seniors Downhill tournament at Hamsterley Forest in County Durham last month, to guarantee the 100 points he needed to take part in the BDS.

Morris, who has been competing for two years, races for Specialized Bikes UK and Leisure Lakes Bikes in Bury.

He said: “My dad and uncle got me into mountain bike riding when I was at high school.

“They bought me a bike and I loved it so much I just couldn’t get off it, so I’ve been riding since the age of 16.”

The assistant workshop manager at Leisure Lakes has also received plenty of sponsorship and support over the past year.

“I’ve been competing for about two years now but this is the first year that I’ve got support from Specialized Bikes UK. “Leisure Lakes also supply me with gear and equipment so that I’m fully equipped for all the races.

“The support from both companies has helped me a lot this year.”

The one-off race tournament is classed as the 2014 English championship race and took place over the weekend of May 24-25.

Riders practise all day on the Saturday and Sunday morning before racing starts at noon on the Sunday.

“It’s a one race and if you win it you clinch the title.”

Aside from the trophy and other prizes he won at the tournament Morris says it is more about securing enough points to compete in the 2015 British Downhill Series.

“It’s nice to get a trophy but for me it’s about being named the champion and gaining the 100 points I needed for the series.

“The BDS is a big race series and if you win it’s a big achievement in the industry.

“There are six or seven races in the series which take place all over the country – including Shropshire and Scotland.

“All the top riders compete in the series.”

The mountain biker, who trains on tracks in the local area, has previously won the North West championship but he says clinching the English senior title is his biggest achievement to date.

“This is my biggest success by far,” said Morris. “My aim now is to keep progressing and having fun.”

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