Mountain: Five Minutes with TWR DH Rider Andrew “Needles” Neethling


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It’s not hard to become a fan of Trek World Racing DH rider Andrew “Needles” Neethling. Since turning pro in 2003, the spunky South African has churned out impressive finishes at pro DH events all over the globe. Freshly stoked over a notable sixth place finish at Lisbon’s unique “urban” DH World Cup last weekend, Needles was kind enough to give TWR fans a not-so-rare glimpse into the psyche that has spurned such success.

1. What’s the first thing that usually goes through your head when you wake up?

Can I sneak in another 10 minutes of sleep before I actually have to get up?

2. Last thing that goes through your head at night?

When I’m at a race I normally go through the course and figure out lines. It’s quite amazing how many runs you can do in your head. That’s a little trick for new comers; ractice the course in your head.

3. Coffee or energy drinks? Beer or Liquor?

I never got into coffee. A cold beer after a good race always goes down well.

4. Do you ride right- or left-foot forward?

Left-foot forward.

5. You enter a crowded room your theme song starts playing. What song?

When I enter a crowded bar, Party Like a Rock Star usually starts playing in my head…

6. What was the last book you read?

The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne

7. List five websites you visit daily.

Dirtmag, Racerxill, Trek World Racing, Littermag, Facebook
(You can find Needles on Facebook by searching for “Andrew Neethling Racing.”)

8. Most played song(s) on your iPod?

High Contrast’s Forever and a Day and AC/DC’s Rock ‘n Roll Dream.

9. Any superstitions related to racing or any specific pre-race rituals?

I like fresh goggles and gloves for race runs.

10. What was the first bike you ever owned?

My first memorable bike was a 20 inch that my dad converted to a 5 speed “mountain bike…” I guess you could call it that…

11. It’s your last meal, what do you order?

I would start with sushi. Main would include ribs, burrito and Mom’s chicken pasta. I would end with strawberry filled meringue.

12. Any advice for aspiring riders out there?

My advice is to ride your bike as much as possible. Remember to have fun too, that’s why we all started riding bikes.

13. What does it take to look good in hound’s tooth? (signature TWR attire)

It has to come naturally; you either have it or you don’t I guess…

14. Anything else you’d like to add?

I am just really enjoying the new team and all the people involved. We have had some good laughs for sure! Check out all the videos from the races on the Trek World Racing website!