Jaco Venter, former World Tour super domestique, will be teaming up with Mauritian National Road and XCO Champion, Alex Mayer, as Team First Move / Fundsmith for the much anticipated Absa Cape Epic from 17 – 24 October 2021.
The 2021 edition will be Venter’s third Absa Cape Epic, but first since retiring from international road racing in 2019. Venter was due to race the Absa Cape Epic with Jacques Janse van Rensburg in 2020 until the race was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m looking forward to racing my first Absa Cape Epic in more than ten years. It’s been difficult to keep up the motivation during the uncertainty of Covid, but I have been working hard and keeping my head down. I’ve had a few setbacks in my preparation, having contracted Covid in July and a plate removed from my elbow after an accident in November. Still, I am eventually pain-free and ready to race. We haven’t raced together yet, but our power files look very similar, so I think we will be a good pairing. We will give our best every day and are aiming for the top 3 in the African jersey.”
Mayer is coached by former World Tour coach Trevor Court, who used to work with Venter at Team MTN Qhubeka and Team Dimension Data.
“Alex asked me if I knew anyone who was looking for a partner for the Absa Cape Epic, and I immediately thought of Jaco. I have worked with Jaco for many years on the European circuit, and I knew they would be a great match. Alex has had a great run in form and has developed into an all-round rider, having claimed the national XCO title along with the road title in his home country of Mauritius. Alex was riding for a French Club team before the pandemic, and despite 2020 and 2021 being a testing period, he has managed to stay motivated and go from strength to strength. I look forward to this pairing working well together, and Alex couldn’t have asked for a better partner, knowing the experience that Jaco brings to the team.”
Mayer is no stranger to racing in South Africa, having finished eighth at the Tour de Limpopo in 2018 when he was just 20 years old.
Since then, the young Mauritian star has claimed back-to-back national titles in both the Road and XCO disciplines and narrowly lost the recent XCM Championships after a technical saw him finish in second place.
“I have always wanted to race the Epic. I remember sitting at school and secretly live-streaming the race during class. I think it’s going to be the most demanding physical challenge I’ve ever done, but I’m super excited to race with Jaco, and I think I can learn a lot from his experience. It’s my first time doing a MTB stage race in South Africa, so having a local partner will also definitely help. We will give it our all to get the best result possible, and I look forward to having lots of fun with some suffering at the same time.“
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Source: First Move Sport