KAP sani2c 20th edition adds UCI status to the exciting line-up

While KAP sani2c has always been popular with the top South African marathon mountain biking teams, the addition of a Prologue and Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) status for the KAP sani2c Race in 2024, is set to raise the bar and make the event even more compelling for professional riders.

Founder of KAP sani2c, Glen Haw, says they were already in line with most of the UCI rules, so it made sense to do it: “sani2c has always provided a platform for young and upcoming talent. Becoming a UCI points race with marathon points available, extends this support to local marathon riders with international aspirations, creating a racing environment where they can earn these valuable points to qualify to race abroad at World Cup and World Champs events.”

In order to become a sanctioned UCI race, sani2c will add a time trial or Prologue on 24 April, the day before the Race starts. This is guaranteed to be an exciting spectacle that other Race participants can watch as they register for the Race at Glencairn.

SA Marathon and Gravel champion Matt Beers has stood on the sani2c podium many times, and says that adding a Prologue and UCI status will help the event get more attention and exposure: “It’s nice that they are spicing it up and making these changes. It’s definitely what the race needs to make it more appealing to the pros.”

Only A batch (Elite Men) and B batch (Elite Women) teams will qualify for points. All these riders must have full racing licences and an 11 digit UCI licence number, and the Prologue is only for Elite Men and Elite Women with UCI licence numbers.

KAP sani2c will be a Category 2 marathon stage race event and points are allocated per rider - which means that each rider from the first team across the line will be awarded 80 points to their UCI ranking.

Marco Joubert from Imbuko Pro Cycling, says it’s great that sani2c is becoming a UCI race: “That means a lot actually, for myself and I'm sure a lot of other SA riders. UCI points are quite important because it helps us with our seeding at the European races and World Champs. It also just gets our South African flag up in the UCI overall rankings. So it’s great news, and hopefully this may get some international teams to come and do sani2c as it’s a flippin’ cool event. It's definitely one of the highlights of all South African events, and it's been a highlight for a lot of years now. This is a good step forward for sani2c and I’m looking forward to racing - I'm sure the racing is just going to get faster.”

Seasoned rider and coach Sarah Hill says this news is very exciting, and says of the sani2c experience: “The race is filled with speed, single track and tough climbs and is a highlight for many riders each year. It ticks so many boxes: partnership racing; point to point racing; relaxing chill zones and tasty feedzones, as well as an atmosphere that keeps us wanting to come back every year. I really hope to be on the startline again this year, sani2c would be an incredible addition to my mountain biking calendar.”

KAP sani2 started as a fundraising event for the local farm school that Glen Haw’s children attended, and has grown into one of the largest stage races in the world. With three separate events over 5 days at the end of April, 2024 is the 20th edition of this iconic event.

The Trail event is from Tuesday 23 April to Thursday 25th, and is the e-bike race, with a podium and leader jerseys. E-bikes will not be allowed to enter the Race or Adventure events.

The Adventure starts on Wednesday 24th April at Glencairn, finishing on Friday 26th in Scottburgh. The 2024 edition of the Adventure event is already fully subscribed, so riders are encouraged to enter the Race, which starts on Thursday 25th and ends on Saturday 27th April, with the new Prologue event happening on 24 April.

Images: Rory Scheffer and Anthony Grote

Pedal Project Creates Racing Sub-Category Within the UCI Women’s Field

The Pedal Project – a community-based mental health support programme which utilises mountain biking as a vehicle for empowering children from historically disadvantaged communities – is an official charity of the Absa Cape Epic. In an attempt to raise awareness of the charity, to promote healthy competition throughout the race, and to highlight the achievements of riders who would otherwise go unheralded the programme is launching the PedalForGood leaders’ jersey. The competition will unfold within the greater UCI Women’s race and will be contested by a group of women who balance racing aspirations alongside their career and family commitments.

As an official charity of the Absa Cape Epic the Pedal Project is using the race to PedalForGood and raise both funds for, and awareness of, their programme. “We use mountain biking as a tool to promote physical-, but more importantly mental- health,” charity founder Jaco van der Linde said. “Every weekday 120 children from Maccassar, Strand, and soon Jamestown outside of Stellenbosch, come to ride mountain bikes with the Pedal Project. They receive guidance from mentors and are helped to build the tools to overcome the challenges they will face in life.”

“The synergy between Pedal Project and this group of women is tied to mental health,” Van de Linde explained. “Each of them has expressed how important cycling is to their mental health. It’s a concept we call: Trail Therapy. Like so many of us mountain bikers they ride for the joy it brings but also for the intangible benefits.”

“Racing my bike makes me feel alive,” Juanita Mackenzie, one of the founding members of the informal group of women, noted. “I love everything about it. The challenge, the chance to upskill and learn, to overcome. I love the feeling of the wind in my hair, the sound the tyres make as they roll, the exhilaration that I feel when I bomb down a hill and the accomplishment I feel when I am able to be better than the day before – even if just by a small margin. It’s my therapy. It makes my heart happy.”

“I particularly love racing as a team,” Mackenzie added. “There is something beautiful in good team work. To be able to communicate with each other with a grin, a grimace or just a look. Or to not have to communicate at all because you’re in sync. You already know what your partner is going to do before she does it and it makes you smile inside in anticipation. Someone to carry you when you can’t anymore and to inspire you to dig deeper than you ever would on your own. Uplifting each other under every circumstance on and off the bike.”

The community this group has created extends beyond the separate teams. “Every woman in this group inspires me in different ways”, Mackenzie praised. “They all have grit and determination, as well as a never say die attitude. Those are a given for anyone racing their bikes and are always admirable. But it’s the kindness shown when another is flailing that’s truly exceptional. A word of encouragement when you have nothing left in the tank and giving each other credit, where credit is due, even when it’s hard. Something I really love about this group of women is the sportsmanship. We all want to win, no one lines up to lose and we love battling it out.”

At the 2024 Absa Cape Epic they will be battling it out for the PedalForGood jersey. The unofficial leaders’ jersey will reward the best of these teams as they race their way through the eight days, and 613 kilometre route. The battle is sure to be fierce, but fair, and every individual in the group will be celebrated. While simultaneously raising the profile of a charity – the Pedal Project – which enables others to experience the same mental health benefits, they enjoy, through mountain biking.



Absa #SheUntamed triumphs at the Momentum Medical Scheme Tankwa Trek

We are thrilled to extend our warmest congratulations to our Absa #SheUntaimed riders for their outstanding performance during the gruelling four-day stage race at the 2024 Momentum Medical Scheme Tankwa Trek. The Momentum Medical Scheme Tankwa Trek, renowned for its challenging terrain and rigorous stages, proved to be the ultimate test of skill, endurance and determination for the formidable 20for20 team.

Following the resounding success of the Team Absa Training Camp, the Absa #SheUntamed riders have once again showcased their prowess at the recent event. The Momentum Medical Scheme Tankwa Trek, known for its challenging tracks and demanding conditions, saw each of the 13 Absa #SheUntamed teams surmounting every obstacle with grit and determination and, above all, sass.

Over the course of four demanding stages, spanning a total distance of 269.8 kilometres and encompassing an impressive 5 320 meters of climbing, our Absa #SheUntaimed riders showcased unparalleled resilience and grit. Despite the daunting obstacles and unforgiving conditions, they emerged victorious, leaving an indelible mark on this prestigious Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Class 1 stage race.

Tina Venter, Executive: Marketing Operations, Absa Group Marketing and Corporate Affairs, says, "We are immensely proud of our Absa #SheUntaimed riders for their remarkable achievement in conquering the demanding four stages of the 2024 Momentum Medical Scheme Tankwa Trek. Despite the gruelling nature of the event, our Absa #SheUntaimed riders demonstrated unparalleled determination and skill, showcasing the true spirit of resilience and camaraderie. Congratulations to all our riders for their outstanding performance!"

We extend our heartfelt congratulations to the following women who demonstrated exceptional skill, determination and camaraderie throughout the 2024 Momentum Medical Scheme Tankwa Trek:

  • Tracey Quin and Danilee Reilly
  • Zintle Gantsho and Fikile Jiyane
  • Alisha Myers and Ann Harrison
  • Manti Manganye and Nikki Booyens
  • Mamello Letsie and Martha Koekemoer
  • Cherise Odendaal and Michelle Rudolph
  • Reinette Geldenhuis and Kirsten Landman
  • Simone Sharpe and Ingrid Avidon
  • Ricci-Lee Brookstone and Melissa Kritzinger
  • ⁠Natasja Kask and Elaine Beytell
  • Hannele Steyn and Janine Muller
  • Sarah Hill and Hayley Smith
  • Carli Cooke and Gemma Shales

Their remarkable achievements serve as a testament to the spirit of perseverance and determination that defines our Absa #SheUntaimed community. We are immensely proud of their accomplishments and look forward to supporting them in their future endeavours.

Carli Cooke, one of the Absa #SheUntamed riders says, “The Momentum Medical Scheme Tankwa Trek is among the most technically challenging races as it requires navigating sand, rocky areas and ruts, often at speed. Temperatures can soar, making the steep 8km Merino Monster climb exceptionally challenging. My partner and I were pleased to have had a smooth ride and we enjoyed the Koue Bokkeveld landscape, which has a beauty of its own”.

In anticipation of the 20th anniversary of the iconic Absa Cape Epic, scheduled for 17 to 24 March 2024, Absa is amplifying its commitment to women's cycling through the #SheUntamed initiative. Embracing the milestone, Absa has set an ambitious target of assembling 20 all-women teams under the Team Absa #SheUntamed 20for20 banner.

Sarah Hill, Head Coach of the Absa #SheUntamed programme, expressed her pride in the remarkable achievements of the participating women. "I am so proud of all the women and could not have asked for better results," she stated. "It has been a pleasure working with the Absa #SheUntamed women and seeing them grow over the past six months, with their individual stories turning into inspiring milestones. I can't wait to witness this amazing line-up of women at the 20th edition of the Absa Cape Epic.”

With the Tankwa Trek success fuelling their determination, the Absa #SheUntamed teams are now gearing up for the grand spectacle of the Absa Cape Epic. As the final countdown begins, anticipation is at its peak for what promises to be a historic display of women's cycling prowess.

Absa #SheUntamed, an Absa initiative for women in cycling.

 STOLLA MTB Grips Launch in Stellenbosch

On Saturday February 10th, cycling innovators STOLLA will launch their first product in a range of game-changing mountain biking accessories. These pioneering shock-dampening handle-bar grips have been designed to lessen the impact of corrugations and jarring on your wrists, and are guaranteed to improve your riding enjoyment.

Mountain bikers and gravel riders, brace yourselves! Get ready to say goodbye to arm fatigue, and Hello! to a smoother, more comfortable ride. Sign up now, and you could be part of the launch of our revolutionary STOLLA shock-dampening handlebar grips.

Experience the Difference
Traditional handlebar grips offer little to no protection against jarring vibrations that plague most mountain bike trails and gravel routes. STOLLA has decided to disrupt the status quo with its innovative, internationally patented technology, and their grips will transform every ride into a symphony of comfort and control.

How STOLLA Works
At the core of each STOLLA Grip, you will find a unique elastomer Air Plenum, suspended within the durable outer shell. This ingenious design acts as a mini suspension system for your hands, absorbing shock and vibration before they reach your arms. They furthermore feature a built-in Impact Attenuation System to mitigate any jarring on the riders’ hands.

Benefits for STOLLA Riders

Reduced Arm Fatigue: Tame the bumps and conquer longer distances with much diminished fatigue and anatomical discomfort.

Enhanced Control: Improved grip through vibration dampening translate to increased confidence and sharper handling on technically challenging trails.

Diminished Injury Risk: By absorbing most harmful vibrations, STOLLA helps prevent repetitive strain injuries to keep your hands and wrists healthy.

Improved Comfort: Experience the joy of riding without numb fingers or aching arms, allowing you to fully enjoy the beauty of Stellenbosch trails.

 The Titan Racing Cerberus puts the fun back in hardtails

With the ever-growing number of flow trails that incorporate technical features, Titan Racing has set out to create a hardtail for those looking for a mountain bike that incorporates the fun factor of a trail dual suspension bike, and the “direct” and connected feel of a hardtail. A. bike that is just as happy to climb all day long as it is shredding trails.

Reminiscent of a simpler time in our lives, the Cerberus has been conceived to put the smile back on your face, and the fun back in hardtails.

Chasing the longer, slacker, and lower trend blindly, is just as dangerous as staying behind. With that in mind, the frame’s geometry has been carefully crafted in-house to offer the perfect mix of trail manners that today’s riders expect. With a 67° head angle for increased stability, a 71° seat angle for effective climbing, and a reach of 470 mm on a size Large, the geometry of the Cerberus perfectly blends trail confidence with long days in the saddle. The low stand-over height aids with confidence as it allows enough space to manoeuvre on the bike as well, with the added benefit of being able to run a longer dropper post. (125 mm in size S)

The Titan Racing Cerberus comes standard with a 130mm fork but has been designed to be able to take a 140mm fork as well. Simplicity and practicality are key with a hardtail and the Cerberus ticks that box. Internal cable routing that your LBS won’t scoff at, Boost standard front and rear, space for two water bottles (size Med and up), BSA bottom bracket, SRAM UDH hanger, and tubeless-ready rims and tires. Its trail intentions are backed up by clearance for 2.8” tires (manufacturer dependent) and 180 mm rotors front and rear.

At launch the Cerberus is available in three models, Cerberus Cruz, Cerberus Dash, and at the top of the range sits the Cerberus Expert. Recommended retail prices start at R18,999 for the Titan Racing Cerberus Cruz, R26,999 for the Cerberus Dash, and R32,999 for the Cerberus Expert. The line-up will be joined by the Cerberus Sport in April, which will slot in between the Cruz and Dash models.