Change a Life Academy
16 Oct 2014
Written by: Kyle Gilham
RMB Change a Life Zulus sparkle at 2014 Berg & Bush
Durban – The FedGroup Berg & Bush stage race was where it all started on
the mountain biking front for Martin Dreyer’s RMB Change a Life MTB Academy
two years ago and to see his charges putting in such noteworthy
performances at this year’s race last weekend was a proud moment for the
While TIB Insurance/Thule’s Andrew Hill and Tyronne White won the overall
spoils, exciting Change a Life pair Sthembiso Masango and Mboneni Ngcobo
clinched an impressive seventh place in the men’s race while academy MTB
captain John Ntuli and Dreyer’s wife, Jeannie clinched the mixed title en
route to their top 10 overall finish.
“It was an amazing three days for the RMB Change a Life Zulus at this
year’s Berg and Bush!” exclaimed Dreyer proudly.
“Their fantastic results meant their presence had a great impact on the
race and with the team coming from the most basic rural lifestyle, one can
only imagine what an extraordinary experience it was for them!” he added.
A solid start for the four more experienced Change a Life pairings saw only
the young schoolboy combination of Siyanda Masango and Dumisani Shabalala –
the youngest team in the race – pass through the second water point outside
of the top twenty.
Disaster struck the pair of Bongumusa Zikhali and Ndumiso Dontso shortly
afterwards though when Dontso’s rear derailler broke, leaving him unable to
change gears and forcing the pair to take turns in running the bike to the
finish line, eventually finishing the day in a disappointing 320th
In the final 20 kilometers of the stage Ngcobo paid the price for having
flown out of the starting blocks. He and Masango finished eleventh on the
day, one ahead of the measured mixed pair of Ntuli and Jeannie Dreyer.
“It was awesome watching our riders mixing it up at the top end of the
race, improving on their positions daily with better race strategy and
pacing while John & Jeannie winning the mixed race was the cherry on top!”
“It was disappointing to suffer a mechanical but I knew the fighting spirit
that Zikhali & Dontso have while having decided as team beforehand that
quitting is not an option simplified things.”
An early start at the Emseni race village where the team was camping again
saw Ngcobo get things underway with a bang and his frenetic early pace saw
he and Masango summit the lung-bustingly steep Spioenkop Mountain in the
blink of an eye, setting them up for a memorable fourth place finish for
Ntuli and Jeannie Dreyer had another steady day in the saddle in the mixed
race and finished eleventh overall, Sipho Kupiso and Mazwi Msimango shone
bright en route to their ninth place on the day and youngsters Masango and
Shabalala finished inside the day’s top 30 however the stage’s real story
belonged to Zikhali and Dontso.
After having Hattons Cycles rectify their first stage bike issues
overnight, the pair started day two in lowly G batch however a heroic
second stage effort saw them surge past no fewer than 298 teams to finish
in an incredible 22nd on the day.
With the finish line in sight, there was an element of excitement amongst
the five Change a Life teams at the start of Sunday’s final stage and it
was this excitement that led to Masango and Ngcobo surging to a historic
third stage podium place while Ntuli and Jeannie Dreyer wracked things up a
notch in the mixed race to finish the day eighth overall and claim the
category’s top honours.
Sadly a stomach bug for Kupiso saw he and Msimango a little off the pace in
the final day’s action, finishing the day sixteenth but bravely hanging on
to twelfth place on the general classification while two tough days of
racing also got the better of young Shabalala in the bouts’ third round.
Bouyed by their efforts the day before, Zikhali and Dontso again proved
just what they are capable of when they surged from their C batch start to
claim fifteenth on the day, leaving many wondering just what could have
been had it not been for their early troubles.
Dreyer commended the Berg & Bush for putting on a world class event with
arguably South Africa's best single track while he also thanked them for
support of the team.
More info can be found at
SUMMARY OF RESULTS – RMB CHANGE A LIFE MTB ACADEMY
FEDGROUP BERG & BUSH MTB STAGE RACE
1.TIB Insurance/Thule (Andrew Hill/Tyronne White) 9:19.53
2.Midlands Men (Bradley Stroberg /Tyron Bird) 9:23.34
3.Team Europcar (Sean Henderson/Nic White) 9:51.16
4.Cyclelab Sub Vets (David de Lima/Angus Alexander) 9:55.52
5.Boys on BMC (Justin Porteous/Craig Uria) 10:02.04
6.Prominent Paints (Deon Kruger/Fred Buter)10:05.58
7.RMB Change a Life 2 (Sthembiso Masango/Mboneni Ngcobo) 10:10.44
8.MTB Goats (Dylan Joseph /David Walsh) 10:14.56
9.Cycle World (Francois Oosthuizen/Jean Fourie) 10:23.11
10.RMB Change a Life (John Ntuli/Jeannie Dreyer) 10:30.16
12.RMB Change a Life 3 (Sipho Kupiso/Mazwi Msimango)
36.RMB Change a Life 4 (Siyanda Masango/Dumisani Shabalala) 11:49.02
75.RMB Change a Life 1 (Bongumusa Zikhali/Ndumiso Dontso) 12:39.12
1.RMB Change a Life (John Ntuli/Jeannie Dreyer) 10:30.16
download the hi-resolution pic
Change a Life
Academy logo - jpeg
The RMB Change a Life MTB Academy
were all smiles after their great effort at the recent FedGroup Berg & Bush
mountain bike stage race. From left: Mazwi Msimango, John Ntuli, Jeannie
Dreyer, Martin Dreyer, Sipho Kupiso, Siyanda Masango and Dumisani Shabalala.
RMB Change a Life MTB Academy's
John Ntuli (right) and Jeannie Dreyer worked hard for the mixed team title
at the recent FedGroup Berg & Bush mountain bike stage race.
Siyanda Masango and
Dumisani Shabalala of the RMB Change a Life MTB Academy soared up Spioenkop
Mountain on day two of the recent FedGroup Berg & Bush mountain bike stage
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