Exxaro’s partnership with the Absa Cape Epic – which has significantly boosted the development aspect of the race – has been extended for another five years.
“This is fantastic news,” said Absa Cape Epic founder Kevin Vermaak. “Exxaro has helped introduce a new generation of riders to our event and is one of the initiatives about which we are most proud.”
Riders from previously disadvantaged backgrounds who are under 26-years-old qualify to race for the Exxaro Special Jersey. The number of competitors in this “race within a race” has grown consistently over the years since it was first introduced in 2011.
“We view this as the logical next step in our passionate support of the development of mountain biking in this country,” said Exxaro chief executive officer Mxolisi Mgojo. “We have seen the benefits of our role as the Official Development Partner of the Absa Cape Epic in that there was a doubling of the number of Development Teams in the 2017 event compared to 2016.”
“We take our role as a catalyst seriously in this regard, and our extension of this sponsorship by another five years demonstrates our commitment to taking development to the next level.”
Mgojo added: “We are also putting in a great deal of time, effort and financial resources into the off-the-bike development of our riders. All of this is only possible through a number of other companies that also sponsor the Exxaro Mountain Bike Academy, and are also willing to ride the road with us for the next five years, which all adds up to supporting this initiative which we are very proud of.”
Vermaak said the Absa Cape Epic looked forward to continue growing the Exxaro Special Jersey race and would continue to put a special focus on it.
“Exxaro has been central to this success since 2011 and we are delighted to have them by our side for another five years,” he added. “With their support the race for the special jersey will grow from strength to strength.”
Coal and heavy minerals mining company Exxaro launched its MTB Academy in 2011 and its riders have graced the Absa Cape Epic ever since then. In 2017 year riders from three other academies – the Diepsloot MTB Academy in Gauteng, the Change A Life Foundation in KwaZulu Natal and Songo.Info from Stellenbosch – were given entries and another 10 were available for sponsors. As a result 19 teams – 38 riders – took part in the race for the Exxaro Special Jersey.
* The 2018 Absa Cape Epic mountain bike stage race takes place from 18 to 25 March and the much anticipated route will be announced on 19 September 2017.
Source: Cape Epic Media