Meet our Absa Cape Epic riders: part 2

With five months to go until the Absa Cape Epic, the Qhubeka teams are busy training for the gruelling event, which will take place from 13 to 20 March next year.

Qhubeka is pleased to introduce you to some more of the amazing people who will be tackling the event for us. If you missed it, here is the first post we did, showcasing some of our other teams for 2016.

Harry Johnson and Heidi Johnson-Fry

“Our team is a father/daughter team,” explains Harry. “We both live in Bozeman, Montana, USA. I am 60 and Heidi is 37.  I am a husband of 41 years, father of two daughters, and grandfather of five.  Heidi is a wife and mother of two.  We are both lifelong athletes.  We have raced Ironman events, marathons, road and mountain bike races and a wide range of adventure races.  It will be our first time at the Cape Epic and our first visit to South Africa.

“Heidi and I are both active in our churches.  She is a homeschool mother and has and continues to do missionary work.  She, her mother (my wife) and her daughter recently did a mission trip to the country of Haiti.

“I own a bicycle shop and support many bike-related charities for both adults and children in the US, such as “Ride for Reading”.  We think that it is our responsibility to do all possible for those in the world that are less fortunate than ourselves.  Qhubeka/WBR is a natural fit for us.”

Heidi and Harry

Luc Vrancken and Jan Huyse

Luc and Jan are 52 and 50 years old respectively and are the “Belgians for Qhubeka” team. Luc lives in Schoten (Antwerp province) and Jan in Lubbeek (Brabant province).

“Luc is a newbie, he has never raced a multiple stage mountain bike race before,” says Jan. “I will ride my second Epic in 2016. I was a finisher in 2014, and have ridden some other (shorter) MTB stage races.”

Luc and Jan met through their work. They both have been working for over 20 years in the Belgian TV industry, Jan in many roles (in broadcasting and production) and Luc mostly as a creative director for Endemol Belgium.

They both love cycling and after Luc had to cancel his participation for the 2014 Epic (and Jan consequently rode the race with someone else) they wanted to give it another shot. They applied to the Qhubeka invitation and were thrilled to be chosen.

They say that the choice to support Qhubeka was an easy one because Jan has been funding World Bicycle Relief for many years through the Fat Cyclist fundraisers (see www.fatcyclist.com). “We were already convinced of what Qhubeka stands for, the outstanding work they do and the great results they achieve,” says Jan.

You can follow them on Twitter (@lucvrancken and @janbiker),and through Jan’s blog (www.dedikkefietser.be).

“We are at this moment silently raising funds, but we will go full speed in December, January and February,” Jan says. “Not only will we shamelessly take advantage of all good Christmas and New Year resolutions of those around us, but we will also do two  events. One, unsurprisingly, will be a sponsored winter MTB ride in January where the big TV cycling community will participate. As you may know, we are crazy about cycling here in Belgium, so there are many people working in TV that ride a bike and love an event to ride and to mingle with their colleagues afterwards. We hope to raise some good money that day.

“But the big fundraising event will be a night we organize in a theatre, with guests, TV clips and some stand-up comedy (featuring ourselves). During that night we will look back at our careers in television and tell all stories that are hilarious but also never were told before. Some of the greatest names in Belgian television have already given their permission and will participate. We expect to sell some 400 tickets and also get some airtime on the biggest Belgian radio and television stations to promote the night and Qhubeka.

“After MTN-Qhubeka’s splendid Tour De France, the Qhubeka name recognition is already pretty high here, but we aim to raise the bar even higher.”

Luc and Jan are paying their own entry fee and all costs that come with riding the Epic. All of the money raised will go in its entirety to Qhubeka.

Epic_Jan and Luc

Update: 1 March 2016

A note from Jan: “Just dropping a note to tell you that our Qhubeka fundraising event was a huge success. Over 300 friends, family members and professionals from the Flemish TV community (including some very well known on screen personalities) attended our “a night with Luc and Jan”. There were a lot of laughs and (to our surprise) some loud applause. During the night in the Schoten-theater (near Antwerp) we also informed them about Qhubeka and what you do.”

Epic_Jan and Luc 2