MOUNTAIN bike star Manon Carpenter is gearing up for a big year competing in the likes of the United States and Canada in this season's World Cup.
The 20-year-old, originally from Caerphilly, who was crowned Junior Downhill World Champion in 2011, has also just signed a sponsorship agreement with Mercedes-Benz Truck and Van Dealer Euro Commercials (South Wales).
She took delivery this week of her new personal transport, a dynamic Vito Sport Van.
Miss Carpenter, who recently moved to Cardiff, is aiming to improve this year on her third-place finish in last season’s Elite UCI Downhill World Cup.
A member of the Madison Saracen team, she has been riding bikes for as long as she can remember after her father ran a race series in south Wales.
Despite the risks, she admits to being addicted to the adrenalin rush she gets from saddling up then hurling herself at breakneck speeds down steep mountainsides, struggling all the while for grip on the hazardous off road terrain.
She said: “It can take up to five minutes to get down and it’s physically very demanding, but I love it."
This season’s World Cup gets underway in April, with rounds in South Africa and Australia – she will also be competing in Canada and the United States, as well as the UK and Europe.
As part of the sponsorship deal, she will be using social media to post regular updates about life with her Vito Sport. She will also be hosting MTB experience events for Euro Commercials customers, and making other ‘meet and greet’ appearances.