Change a Life Academy Media Release  No: CAL1903

03 May 2019

 Embargo: None  Written by: Nick Tatham

Exciting 2019 so far for CAL MTB stars

Pietermaritzburg – A second place finish for Mboneni Ngcobo in the aQuellé Tour Durban Cyclocross race saw Martin Dreyer’s RMB Change a Life MTB stars complete a demanding eight weeks of racing that allowed them to rub shoulders with some of the world’s greatest mountain bikers at the Absa Cape Epic.

Ngcobo came tantalisingly close to clinching the title at the Durban event recently, which comprised of fifteen kilometres of off-road and forty kilometres of fast road racing on the M4 freeway, losing in a thrilling end-sprint to eventual winner Cayde Muldoon.

The podium place will serve as another highlight of their whirlwind start to 2019, after their memorable impact on the Absa Cape Epic in March that started with the organisers generously offering two team entries to Dreyer’s Academy.

Those entries were given to the pair of Sipho Kupiso and Bongumusa Zikhali, who were fighting it out for the Exxaro Jersey, and to Ndumiso Dontso and Mazwi Smimango.

At the eleventh hour Dreyer was able to add a third team to the Epic line-up when Land Rover made a team entry available to him, which he assigned to the pairing of Sthembiso Masango and Mboneni Ngcobo.

“The Absa Cape Epic is doing incredible work promoting development mountain biking, giving black cyclists who financially could never afford it a riding experience of a life time ” Academy founder Dreyer said.

“There are numerous strong young development teams and the competition between the teams for the under 27 age group Exxaro Jersey was very competitive.

“We only had one team that fell under that qualifying age for that category, the pair of Sipho (Kupiso) and Bongumusa (Zikhali), where they finished 5th.”

The other two Change a Life teams put in phenomenal performances, placing 1st and 2nd overall amongst the highly competitive Development racing teams.

Masango and Ngcobo, arguably the most experienced Change a Life riders, finished in 56th place overall while Dontso and Smimango ended the gruelling event in 71st place.

“It was unfortunate for Sipho and Bongumusa because just before the race Bongumusa got sick and it impacted on their preparation.

“He wasn’t sick during the race but you could see that it took its toll on them.

“I was very impressed with Maza (Dontso) and Mazwi (Smimango) throughout the race. They worked together really well and produced a top quality result given the strength of the field.”

In the end the performance from Masango and Ngcobo was particularly impressive given that they were only confirmed for the event three weeks before.

They rode with strength throughout and finishing the race as the first all-black crew is a great achievement.

"We are very grateful to Land Rover for sponsoring one of my Change a Life Teams and the guys were in awe of the hospitality that they received,” said Dreyer.

“The RMB CAL Zulus relished their Epic experience, from the festive, delicious dinners every night in the massive rider’s marquee tent to the rugged riding over untamed terrain,” he added. “We are holding thumbs to be invited back.”


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Martin Dreyer's RMB Change a Life Academy mountain biking ace Mboneni Ngcobo (front) lost out on in a sprint finish at the recent aQuellé Tour Durban presented by Bridge Fund Managers, this was after he and Sthembiso Masango rode well to finish as the first all-black team at the Absa Cape Epic in March. Anthony Grote/
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