Change a Life Academy Media Release  No: CAL1505

6 May 2015

 Embargo: None  Written by: Kyle Gilham


Memorable joBerg2c for RMB Change a Life Zulus

Pietermaritzburg – The 2015 Old Mutual joBerg2c was a memorable nine days of mountain biking adventure for five of Martin Dreyer’s RMB Change a Life MTB Academy as the fast-emerging Valley of a Thousand Hills stars went toe to toe with some of the country’s best stage racers and were able to walk away with their heads held high afterwards.

Academy stand-out Sthembiso Masango and regular riding partner Mboneni Ngcobo led the way for the RMB Change a Life setup as they were the fourth team across the line, followed closely by fellow academy members Ndumiso Dontso and Sipho Kupiso in seventh while team captain John Ntuli finished third in the competitive Solo Men's category.

“It was an unbelievable week and a huge challenge for our guys!” said RMB Change a Life MTB Academy founder Martin Dreyer. “For all three of our entries to mix it up with some of the top professional mountain bikers in South Africa was really pleasing to see and will be good for their confidence.”

“A lot can go wrong when you race for nine days in a row, riding 900-plus kilometres. We had the odd fall here and there but all in all the guys managed to keep it together and their consistency and ability to ‘vasbyt’ was really impressive while their top-end PYGA hardtails played an important role in their journey across our beloved country as well!”

While things didn’t necessarily go perfectly according to plan for the three RMB Change a Life outfits, the five riders’ ability to hang in there when the going got tough and then recover towards the end of the race was another positive for Dreyer.

“Unfortunately our guys didn’t take heed of their mistakes at last year’s race and flew out the blocks way too quickly on day two – the first timed stage of the race – which resulted in a nuclear explosion within each one of them three quarters of the way through the stage, even finishing behind the leading women!

“They all got their ducks in a row on day three though and from then on they rode like champs, making great improvements since last year’s joBerg2c.

“Sipho (Kupiso) was struggling with a tummy bug for two days and his partner Ndumiso (Dontso) really showed great awareness and character to nurse him through those stages before going full gas again once Sipho had recovered!”

A stand-out performance by Masango and Ngcobo on the penultimate eighth stage on Friday 1 May saw them step onto the team podium, further solidifying their fourth place in the team category.

“It was lovely to have our guys representing RMB Change a Life on the podium while John (Ntuli)’s effort also shouldn’t be underestimated!” said Dreyer.

A member of the Elite Athlete Development Programme supported by the KZN Department of Sport and Recreation, Ntuli is a vastly experienced campaigner and with him facing stiff opposition from his fellow solo competitors, was forced to dig deep in order to secure his individual podium position.

“John was up against some top individual riders and glancing through the results, over 50% of the overall top 20 were solo riders, showing the strength of this category this year and emphasizing just how strong John’s performance was!” added Dreyer.

The academy will now turn their attention towards the 60km Sappi Karkloof Marathon which takes place on Sunday 10 May as part of the 2015 Sappi Karkloof MTB Festival before they look to tackle the iconic Nedbank sani2c from 14-16 May.

SUMMARY OF RESULTS – RMB CHANGE A LIFE MTB ACADEMY
OLD MUTUAL joBerg2c

TEAM
4.RMB Change a Life 1 (Sthembiso Masango/Mboneni Ngcobo)
7.RMB Change a Life 2 (Sipho Kupiso/Ndumiso Dontso)

SOLO MEN
3.John Ntuli (RMB Change a Life)

ENDS

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RMB Change a Life MTB Academy's Sthembiso Masango (front) and Mboneni Ngcobo charged towards fourth place in the team category of the 2015 Old Mutual joBerg2c. Jetline Action Photo/
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RMB Change a Life MTB Academy's Sipho Kupiso (front) is hotly followed by partner Ndumiso Dontso en route to seventh place in the team category of the 2015 Old Mutual joBerg2c. Em Gatland/
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RMB Change a Life MTB Academy and Elite Athlete Development Programme member John Ntuli clinched a memorable third place in the highly competitive Solo Men's category of the 2015 Old Mutual joBerg2c. Jetline Action Photo/
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