Their skin was darkened brown by the dust and burnt red by the sun. Bodies were hunched across the handle bars from a long week’s effort, yet still…crossing the line at the conclusion of 2011′s Absa Cape Epic had a profound effect on the team and it wasn’t just the physical effects of racing eight days around South Africa.
This race is known as the most brutal of all mountain bike stage races, pushing riders to their limits. It is THE big show in mountain bike stage racing: world champions, camera motos and choppers, live television, and the best field of competitive mountain bike racers that arguably that one could assemble. Just being there, in the battle, is the stuff that makes for a life time of memories.
Its eight days of heat, dust, unforgiving terrain and incredible distances pushes athletes to the maximum, and Team Jamis was struck by the intensity of this race against the contrast of the African Continent. To simply race the Cape Epic again would have left a void, having taken, not given back, to an event that means so much to the riders who complete its journey.
It is with pleasure that Team Jamis and Jason Sager return to the 2012 Cape Epic – Racing for World Bicycle Relief, the team’s goal is to raise funds and awareness for the World Bicycle Relief organization. The team will be competing in custom Cape Epic 2012 World Bicycle Relief commemorative kits designed by Mt. Borah clothing.
Sager will be partnering with New England resident and pro rider Justin Lindine as a charity team in the Pro Men’s UCI open category. Arriving in Cape Town Tuesday, March 20th, the team will open their legs after the transcontinental journey by participating in Christoph Sauser’s Songo.info charity exhibition mountain bike race on Wednesday in Stellenbosch.
“Racing for World Bicycle Relief programs gives us a purpose” said Sager. “Our goal is to raise awareness, and money, to support the WBR and their Bicycles for Educational Empowerment Program, as well as through their partnerships with and Qhubeka/Wildlands Conservation Trust there in South Africa, which actually build and distribute the Buffalo bikes in South Africa. Leaving bikes behind as a product of our fans’ donations is one of the most tangible changes you can have on a community.”
“Margot McCumsiky, director of Diabetes South Africa, has been critical in helping us find centers in Cape Town than can see the bikes put to use. We’re looking forward to sharing with developing communities the joy and practicality that bikes can bring” said Sager.
Starting with the Songo charity race, Sager and Lindine will continue to document their Cape Epic journey. Follow the World Bicycle Relief team of Lindine and Sager as they share the adventures and challenges of racing half way around the world, trading winter snow for deep summer’s heat, solo training rides for daily 5 hour battles, and the comforts of home for pre-dawn starting line race jitters.
You can find their daily adventure travel journal updates on Cyclingnews.com, along with daily videos, both of which will be both shared on TeamJamis.com and via their social media connections on Twitter and Facebook for the latests updates from the race, which begins on March 25th.
Donate to World Bicycle Relief HERE.
Source: Team Jamis