A racing team from Soweto have completed the Cape Epic with broken shoes and borrowed bikes!
Cape Town, South Africa – Calvin Mono and Linda Dhlamini from Team Bhoni4Kasi have achieved the near impossible and completed the arduous Cape Epic with broken shoes and borrowed bicycles.
The Absa Cape Epic is an annual mountain bike stage race held in the Western Cape, South Africa. It has been accredited as hors categorie (beyond categorisation) by the Union Cycliste Internationale. First staged in 2004, the race typically covers more than 700 kilometres and lasts eight days – a prologue and seven stages.
The annual race attracts elite professional mountain bikers from around the world, who compete in teams of two. To qualify for a finish, teams have to stay together for the duration of the race. The race is also open to amateurs, who enter a lottery to gain a slot. A total of 600 teams take part. The times taken to finish each stage are aggregated to determine the overall winning team in each category at the end of the race.
The Absa Cape Epic was described by Bart Brentjens, 1996 Olympic gold medallist in mountain biking and a former Absa Cape Epic winner, as the “Tour de France of mountain biking”.
And this year a team from Soweto are inspiring the globe with their incredible story!
Shawn Benjamin, a social media user from Cape Town, shared their story pointing out how Dhlamini had started the epic race on a borrowed bike, wearing broken shoes.
“A week ago Linda Dhlamini cycled the prologue of the Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race wearing a broken pair of sneakers (zoom in and have a look at his shoes). Most people did not give him a chance of getting past day one. Tomorrow he will hopefully cross the finish line. I do not know if he will see this post but please give him a few words of encouragement. Linda enjoy the last day and have a blast.”
The team started the race on entry level bikes, flat peddles and no bibs but managed to complete the course with the very basics, while competing with the world’s best cyclists with the best equipment money can buy.
The team name means ‘bicycle for the townships’ and the passionate cyclists competed to raise awareness about cycling in Soweto. Bhoni4Kasi is a non-profit organisation established in April 2013 with its primary purpose being to empower young people through cycling and grow to awareness of cycling as a mode of transport in the township.
Watch their halfway interview below:
Sources: ABSA Cape Epic | Facebook
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