The 2017 Absa Cape Epic was hugely successful for Land Rover South Africa. The two Land Rover Development Rider teams finished in the top 150, and the All-New Land Rover Discovery made its South African debut to huge acclaim.
The first few days of this year’s Absa Cape Epic made it one of the most gruelling editions of this world-famous mountain bike race. Extreme temperatures took their toll on riders, with many suffering dehydration and serious fatigue by the end of the prologue. These high temperatures continued during the first two days, resulting in serious setbacks for a handful of teams – some of which had to withdraw.
Fortunately, the mountain bikers in the two Land Rover Development Rider teams proved to have the determination and capability that helped them go above and beyond in their quest for success. At the end of the punishing, eight-day-long tour through South Africa’s most scenic, untamed mountain routes, these unruffled heroes finished in the top 150 out of 650 teams.
The duo of Mboneni Ngcobo (29) and Sthembiso Masango (29) cracked the top 100, coming in at 90th position – out of 650 team. This fantastic achievement was the result of months of training and preparation with Martin Dreyer, and support from Team Land Rover’s experienced riders. The younger pairing of Sizwe Mkhasibe (25) and Syanda Masango (24) managed to finish 133rd in their maiden Absa Cape Epic – a fantastic result for these young riders who still have a lot of potential.
“We’re incredibly proud of the development riders. They’ve exceeded our expectations in every way, and we look forward to nurturing their talent and seeing them succeed in the future,” said Lisa Mallett, Marketing Director of Jaguar Land Rover South Africa and sub-Sahara Africa. “Additional congratulations should go to the rest of Team Land Rover, who managed the mammoth achievement of completing this incredibly challenging mountain bike race.”
Rugby legend John Smit captained Team Land Rover, and was partnered with Shane Chorley. They completed the race in 338th position, followed closely by the sporting pair of Butch James and Morne van Vuuren in 340th. Powering ahead of them was Mike Nixon, one of the Absa Cape Epic’s Last Lions – riders who have completed every single Absa Cape Epic. With his Dutch teammate, Jasper van Dijk, Nixon finished in 292nd position.
“It was a great week. We had some amazing people around us, in the Land Rover Team,” said John Smit. “This has probably been my favourite Absa Cape Epics so far – I’m just glad it’s over and we can rest.”
With a setting of rugged terrain and beautiful views, Land Rover also took the opportunity to unveil the All-New Discovery, ahead of its South African launch in June. The All-New Discovery is the epitome of capability and composure, featuring three-rows and seven-seat SUV for incredibly versatility. Fans were able to get up close and personal with the latest model in the Land Rover family at the Absa Cape Epic Prologue on Sunday, 19 March, and again at the Grand Finale at the award-winning Val de Vie estate on Sunday, 25 March.
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