Change a Life Academy Media Release  No: CAL1604

5 Apr 2016

 Embargo: None  Written by: Kyle Gilham

Cobweb blasting Freedom Race kick starts RMB Change a Life MTB season

Pietermaritzburg – The Marriott Freedom Race that took place in the Valley of a Thousand Hills over the weekend provided Martin Dreyer’s RMB Change a Life MTB Academy riders – who claimed three of the event’s top seven places – with the perfect opportunity to blast away the cobwebs and ready themselves for a busy 2016 schedule.

Despite having already enjoyed strong representation at some of the province’s early season one day events such as the Illovo Wartburg Marathon, Cedara MTB Classic and Sappi Howick MTB Classic, the Freedom Race, that took place in their own backyard, signaled the commencement of the season proper for the top three Change a Life (CAL) pairs.

While TIB Insurance’s Andrew Hill and Thule’s Tyronne White successfully defended their crown, the CAL Zulu teams of Sthembiso Masango and Mboneni Ngcobo, Sipho Kupiso and Ndumiso Dontso as well as Mazwi Smimango and Bongumusa Zikhali claimed fifth, sixth and seventh place respectively, finishing behind four of the provinces more talented and experienced pairings.

“The Marriott Freedom Race was a really good one for our mountain bikers to get things going again and even though it is still very early season, it was pleasing to see the form our guys are already in,” explained Dreyer.

“Although the course did not have much climbing, our guys loved it, especially the support they received from the locals in the valley who welcomed them wherever they went,” he added.

The two stage challenge, both which started at eNanda Adventure Park at Inanda Dam with the first taking riders around the dam while the second finished at Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World in Durban, will propel the squad into their next major assignment, the 36ONE MTB Challenge.

This ultra-endurance race starts in Oudtshoorn in the Western Cape on 15 April and sees participants tackle the 361km course non-stop whilst circumnavigating 361 degrees around the Karoo town, all within the 36.1-hour time limit.

“We’re very excited to be sending a small contingent to the 36ONE MTB Challenge this year!” said Dreyer. “It’s one of those extraordinary experiences that sees you redefining your limits!”

“My wife, Jeannie, and I participated last year and absolutely loved it; especially due to the incredible local involvement at the numerous support stations that adds that nurturing, friendly vibe.

“It is such an awesome event which will no doubt challenge our Zulus immensely but that’s the whole point – for them to redefine their comfort zones, just like John Ntuli did during his win at last year’s The Munga!

“Also, in keeping with our holistic Change a Life philosophy, the life experiences that our guys will gain by traveling to a new province, through areas like the Karoo, etc., can only help them grow as people too, not just as athletes.”

1.TIB Thule (Andrew Hill/Tyronne White)
2.Bioracer (Brandon Stewart/Travis Walker)
3.think 360 (Leeroy Emslie/Derrin Smith)
4.Team Bestmed ASG (David Low/Matthew Wilkinson)
5.RMB Change a Life 1 (Sthembiso Masango/Mboneni Ngcobo)
6.RMB Change a Life 3 (Sipho Kupiso/Ndumiso Dontso)
7.RMB Change a Life 2 (Mazwi Smimango/Bongumusa Zikhali)
8.32GI (Sean Merredew/Brad Venter)
9.iStudent Academy PMB (Jason Davies/Ross Henderson)
10.Home Ice Cream (Matthew Stamatis/Darryn Purtell)


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Sthembiso Masango (pictured), together with team mate Mboneni Ngcobo, was the first of three RMB Change a Life MTB Academy teams in the top seven of the past weekend's Marriott Freedom Race and he, together with the rest of Martin Dreyer's CAL Zulus, are relishing another busy mountain biking season in 2016. Supplied/
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