Vic Barnett’s top five countries he has raced in around the world.

Vic Barnett's top five countries he has raced in around the world.

Barnett pictured mid-way through a race.

Having raced all over the globe, Victor Barnett give us a run-down of his top five countries of which he’s ridden in over his illustrious career.

Number Five: New Zealand

“The country alone was absolutely astounding, but the course itself was something special. It had tight, technical sections where my skills came to the forefront.”

“But then it also had long, open sections where the scenery was just stunning. It’s a great country that I’d seriously recommend visiting if you get the chance.”

“I managed to secure a bronze medal there so I’m yet to win in that country, but hopefully I’ll manage to top that if the championships return there.”


Stuck in the mud. A common occurrence for any cyclo-cross rider

Number Four: Australia

“Coming in at number four would have to be Australia, as I have raced in both Melbourne and Sydney.”

“Both of these cities hosted the world masters games, and I’ve also medalled at both.”

“I wish I’d visited Melbourne when I was younger, as in my opinion it should be re-named the sport-city. There is so much going on there all the time, and it’s so similar to New Zealand with its stunning scenery when you escape the busy cities.”

Number Three: South Africa

“Number three for me would be South Africa, a country that I plan to revisit in the next year to watch the Cape Epic. I’d love to ride in that, but I might be a bit too old now so I’ll have to have a word with the organisers to see if they’ll let me race.”

“I’ve ridden the world mountain bike series there, where I picked up a silver medal. The courses there are tough, with plenty of steep climbs where it can be easier to run and carry your bike, but that’s what off-road cycling is all about in my opinion.”

Another shot of Vic competing, this time in South Africa.


Number Two: Belgium

“This is where I won my first and potentially my last world cycle-cross title.”

“I had ridden the circuit there several times before, but winning the sprint to win for the first time was just so emotional for me and my wife Ann.”

“It might not be the most beautiful country compared to the likes of Australia and South Africa, but the memories I have from racing there mean it has to rank above them.”

A rare occasion where the course is seemingly dry.

Number One: Canada

“By far and away the most amazing country I have visited.”

“This was where I won my first mountain bike world title, so it holds a lot of memories.”

“I’ll never forget just before the race started it absolutely chucked it down with rain, and it became so boggy I was running with the bike for nearly half of the circuit, which others hadn’t thought to do so I ended up winning by about eight minutes.”

“The year after that they hosted the event again, so I travelled back over to hopefully retain my title. I was lying in second place on the very last lap until I caught the leader just before the finish. We both crashed coming into the home straight, but luckily I was back on my bike the quickest to grab the victory, so that again is another fantastic memory.”

“It was just outside of Montreal where we raced, on the same course where the Olympic Games of 1976 was situated.”

“I returned again this year for the mountain bike world championships, with the race held in Quebec. With all the injuries I had going into the race I wasn’t too confident, but to come out with a bronze medal was massive for me. People might think that all the other gold medals will rank above but with the year I’d had this matched the joy because of all the suffering I had endured in the build up.”

Vic approaching a tarmac section of the course, demonstrating how cyco-cross incorporates a range of terrain.