Absa Extends Cape Epic Title Sponsorship for Three Years
Absa, a leading financial services provider in Africa, is pleased to announce the extension of its title sponsorship of the Absa Cape Epic, the world's premier mountain-bike stage race. The extension solidifies Absa's long-standing position as the primary sponsor of the iconic event, which has come to be known as one of the world’s toughest mountain-bike races.
The agreement was signed by Absa Group Chief Marketing and Corporate Affairs Officer, Sydney Nhlanhla Mbhele, and Senior Vice President & Managing Director EMEA at The IRONMAN Group, Thomas Veje Olsen, in Cape Town on 14 September, just ahead of the Absa Cape Epic 2024 route launch event on the same day. The agreement secures Absa’s position as title sponsor until 2027. The 20th edition of the Absa Cape Epic is scheduled to take place from 17-24 March 2024.
“We are delighted to extend our sponsorship of this premier event for a further three years,” said Sydney. “Through our near 19-year journey as title sponsor of the Absa Cape Epic, we have witnessed the incredible evolution, growth and success of the event and we are proud to be associated with the Cape Epic. The enduring partnership between Absa, a purpose-led pan-African bank, and Cape Epic is testament to our shared commitment to elevating an iconic sports event while at the same time leveraging our potential to be an active force for good. This partnership delivers real impact among riders, corporate citizenship in the form of community development, education, and women empowerment.”
The eight-day event and preparation months prior to the start have a significant economic impact as local communities and businesses host 1,360 local and international riders, thousands of spectators and event staff along the 700 km route through villages, towns and cities.
“The Absa Cape Epic has become the pinnacle event it is, thanks largely to the backing of Absa,” said Thomas Veje Olsen. “Absa’s commitment and support has not only had a monumental impact on South African mountain biking but more importantly on local communities. We thank Absa for their unwavering commitment and dedication to our event, as well as initiatives like #SheUntamed, which we are immensely proud to be part of.”
The Absa Cape Epic, often referred to as the ‘Untamed African MTB Race’, has gained international acclaim over the years, attracting the world’s top riders and enthusiasts from around the globe. The race presents a unique opportunity for participants to challenge themselves against the breathtaking backdrop of South Africa's diverse landscapes while promoting community development and sustainable tourism in the region.
As part of Absa’s strategic ambition to be an active force for good in everything it does, Absa has actively promoted women participation in the Absa Cape Epic through its #SheUntamed initiative since 2019. The number of women participating in the race, one of the world’s toughest, has increased from 36 in 2019 to 146 in 2023, in large part due to Absa’s purposeful efforts, alongside Cape Epic.
“Transformation, diversity and inclusion is a core value at Absa and one that we seek to promote throughout our organisation and our sponsorship estate,” said Sydney. “It is inspiring and rewarding to see women participation in this challenging event grow each year.”
Absa's steadfast support of the Absa Cape Epic demonstrates the organisation's dedication to fostering a spirit of adventure, camaraderie, and healthy competition among riders. The partnership extends beyond the race, contributing to the growth of mountain biking as a sport and promoting the conservation of South Africa's natural beauty.
The Absa Cape Epic is not only a showcase of elite athleticism but also a celebration of the human spirit's indomitable will to conquer new challenges. As Absa looks forward to the future, it aims to continue empowering riders, communities, and volunteers alike, making a lasting impact on the world of mountain biking and the broader South African community.
Wildekrans Founder's Ride - Important Update
Due to heavy rain forecasted and in order to maintain the integrity of the route, the Wildekrans Founder's Ride was cancelled.
Riders who have already signed up and paid for their ticket will have the option to either carry their entry over to the 2024 Founder's Ride hosted at Wildekrans, collect a box of Wildekrans wine from the estate, or receive a voucher that can be redeemed at Wildekrans's restaurant or accommodation.
Wildekrans will reach out directly to riders who signed up for this weekend's ride to confirm their preference.
The next Founder's Rides will be:
16th September at Paul Cluver
7th October at Lourensford
SPILLING THE MTB TEA
CIOVITA: NEW WOMEN'S SUPREMO PACE BIB
CIOVITA is thrilled to announce the launch of its latest innovation, the Women's Supremo Pace Cycling Bib. This piece of high-end performance cycling clothing is designed to not only elevate your ride but offer much-needed off-the-bike functionality. The new Women's Supremo Pace Cycling Bib aims to enhance your riding experience and empower you to ride better.
At it’s heart - CIOVITA’s women-led R&D team are dedicated and able to create products that focus on the needs of women cyclists and their specific needs. The Supremo Pace Bib features an innovative harness design, which allows the bib to be "dropped" for utmost convenience when nature calls during your ride. Done are the days of having to strip down all the layers just to visit the bathroom.
Pace: The Peace Of Mind Nature-Break Function Without Removing Clothing Layers.
The bib's multi-panel construction, crafted from race-tested Italian Lycra that incorporates recycled ocean plastics, offers an ergonomic fit that stays in place while providing the range of movement needed to change positions on the saddle. Say goodbye to discomfort and inconvenience, and embrace the ultimate riding experience with CIOVITA's Women's Supremo Pace Cycling Bib.
Their commitment to every athletes’ performance doesn't end there. They use fabrics with advanced moisture-wicking capabilities, offering optimal moisture and odour control even in the most challenging conditions.
“After taking in feedback from our athletes and customers, we have implemented a new elastic construction which is best described as a Semi-Elasticated-Cuff-For-Flattering-Leg-Finish (no more “sausage legs” or uncomfortable pressure) - this feature will keep your legs comfortable whilst ensuring a secure fit.” says Lauren Neethling, Senior Product developer.
The bib straps are designed with a magnetic clip in-line with the bust to prevent straps from slipping off the shoulders and adding extra comfort with less tension.
“We believe that your cycling clothing should not only be functional and comfortable but also a true reflection of your personality and style. So the Supremo Pace Bib will be available in a wide array of colours, namely Black, Navy, Magenta, Rust and our exciting new Forest colourway”
Experience the joy and freedom that comes from being on two wheels with the new Women's Supremo Pace Cycling Bib and join our community of passionate cyclists who ride confidently, knowing that they have the best in performance and comfort supporting every pedal stroke.
Titan Racing Announce Updated Logo and Branding
Titan Racing has announced an updated logo and corporate identity as a reflection of the next pivotal step in the growth of the brand. From a single model in 2005 to a range packed with something for just about every rider, Titan Racing has grown to be one of the leading bicycle brands from South Africa, taking on the global market. The updated logo reflects the company’s vision to expand its model range to cater to a wider variety of riders and disciplines, whilst furthering its International distribution strategy which will see the brand grow its market share in countries where it is currently available, as well as new global markets that have opened their doors to the brand.
“Whilst our core business has always been providing competitively priced products and legendary back-up, we will extend these core values of our brand into a wider range of models, catering to the South African and our growing international market. We have several new models in the pipeline which we have been working on over the last couple of years and will be introducing to the market over the next six to twelve months. Titan Racing will also be bolstering our apparel and accessories line up which should start filtering into stores later this year and is expected to build on the success of our current range.” said Rob Luis, founder and co-owner of Titan Racing Bikes. "Our main goal is simply sharing what we love, the empowerment that a bicycle can deliver."
“We are changing along with the sport, incorporating new technologies and ideas to improve the riding experience of our bikes, from geometry and fit right through to aerodynamics and suspension quality. I’m excited to see all our hard work pay off when the next generation of Titan Racing bikes become available in the next few months, flying the new TR livery.”
- Cliff Beckett, Head Designer
Simply put, Titan Racing is gearing up for a model launch drive like they’ve never had before in almost 20 years as a bicycle brand and their updated logo reflects this drive in the brand’s expansion. The new identity is effective immediately and will be implemented across all company communications. Our Nitric hardtail e-bike models are already available at dealers around the world with the new logo proudly displayed. Other models will follow as we receive new shipments over the next couple of months.
2023 Prince George 100 Miler
On the 14th of October gravel racers will gather in Prince Albert, at the northern foot of the Swartberg Pass for the grand finale of the inaugural Western Cape Gravel Cup. The second edition of the Prince George Monumental 100 Miler will take them up and over the Swartberg Pass, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, across the plains and rolling hills of the Klein Karoo and down the Montagu Pass, itself a National Heritage Site to George. Alongside the 160 kilometre main event, the race will also boast a 50 Miler in 2023, to provide a taste of the gravel action for those not keen for a massive day out on the bike.
“The first edition of the Prince George Monumental 100 Miler, in 2022, was a great success,” Henco Rademeyer of Dryland Event Management said. “It was our first big foray into gravel racing. Our other gravel friendly races, like News24 Karoo Burn and the 36ONE MTB Challenge, have gradually evolved with the growth of gravel in the country into more gravel friendly events. In the case of the 36ONE, gravel bikes also had to become more capable too, because the route is pretty rough and uncompromising in places. The Prince George route though is 100% gravel friendly. It can of course still be raced on a mountain bike. It will probably be more comfortable; but it certainly won’t be faster, even on a hardtail.”
“We included a few testing sections last year, which were fun for some but maybe a bit hectic for most,” Rademeyer laughed. “But this year we’re working hard to make it all ridable. That means smoothing out the river crossings and sections which were short but compulsory portages last year. We’ve also changed up the route a bit, looping further south from the halfway point at Highgate rather than heading due east past Oudtshoorn.”
“The biggest change is the finishing venue though,” he noted. “This year we’ll be finishing at the Witfontein Forest Station, at the foot of the Montagu Pass, just outside George. It’s a beautiful venue and creates a fun downhill run to the final 200 meters, which are on a paved road. If the race has to be decided in a sprint the slight uphill drag to the line on a wide road will provide a spectacular finish!”
Entries to the 2023 event are open and would-be riders can find out more about the event by visiting www.princegeorge.co.za. To share in the excitement in the build-up to the race like the Prince George 100 Miler Facebook page and follow @princegeorge100miler on Instagram or @PrinceG100Miler on Twitter.
NEW CIOVTA STORE OPENS IN JOHANNESBURG
The first Johannesburg Ciovita store is now open. This store is the third in South Africa and will allow us to bring the full CIOVITA experience to our Gauteng. If you’re in the area, head over to The Broadacres Lifestyle Centre to check it out. Don't miss out on their special deals (available online and in store).