The route for the 2016 Absa Cape Epic has been announced (find out more here)! With five months to go, 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 of the amazing people who will be tackling the event for us. Keep an eye out for more posts over the next few days, where we will introduce the rest of our Absa Cape Epic 2016 riders!
Fiddy and Dirk Gey Van Pittius
Fiddy and Dirk live in Pretoria. They say they are not only husband and wife, but best friends, soul mates and Team Riders.
“We met in 1985, married in 1992, and have trained and raced together for the past 24 years,” says Dirk. “We will be in our 25th year of marriage for the 2016 ABSA CAPE EPIC.”
Dirk has done triathlon, running and cycling for the past 35 years and has achieved provincial colours in triathlon. He has completed a number of impressive races, including the Ohlsons Ultra Triathlon, the inaugural Africa Raid, OM DIE DAM Marathons and the 50km Mont-Aux-Sources Trail runs.
Fiddy has a number of different sporting accolades, being a National Elite Champion in Triathlon, Duathlon, Ultra Triathlon and Ultra Duathlon, and has had several International duathlon and triathlon Elite race victories. She has also had great successes in cross country, marathons and ultra marathon running, including a 12th place finish at the Comrades Marathon.
Both studied Human Movement Sciences. Dirk currently works for Medtronic Africa and Fiddy for Virgin Active SA. “Together we have done numerous running and MTB races over the years, with the most recent success being winning the Sani2C Trail Mixed Team in 2015,” says Dirk. “Both of us identify wholly with the Qhubeka Quest and the World Bicycle Relief, as both of us relied solely upon bicycles for transport during our tertiary education and early working careers.
“Bicycles gave us the opportunity to get to study and work, which meant we had the mobility and freedom to do what we needed to do. Bicycles now provide us with the exceptional experience of freedom and fun. We would like to help others have the same mobility and freedom and also experience the sheer joy of riding a bicycle, and so we believe in Qhubeka and the World Bicycle Relief fund and feel privileged to be part of the programme.”
Stefan Jentzsch and Marc Lagesse
Calling themselves Team qhubeka.org, Stefan (54) and Marc (45) decided to take up a Charity entry with Qhubeka, despite winning the lotto entry. “We both feel it’s a great initiative and a truly worthwhile cause,” says Marc. It is his first Epic, while Stefan raced the event in 2008.
“Stefan and I race grand prix sailboats together. We are both keen cyclists and as part of a joint mid-life crisis, we decided to do the 2016 Cape Epic,” says Marc. “I have gained so much pleasure from cycling throughout my lifetime and continue to do, but I also recognise that growing up I had access to all that I needed to develop and excel – getting to school was never an issue. In supporting Qhubeka, I would quite simply like the opportunity to know that I have been a small part in helping a few of Africa’s children of today become the well-rounded, educated and successful adults of tomorrow by providing them with a mode of transport.”
You can visit Marc’s Givengain Activist page to find out more, and support him with his quest to gather more donations for Qhubeka.
“Stefan and I have so far survived everything the ocean has thrown at us. with Qhubeka motivation can we survive everything the Cape Epic can throw at us?” Marc says.
Mark Sinovich and Daryl Bhana
Mark and Daryl (aka Team Qhubeka Buffalo Soldiers) are both from Green Point, Cape Town. “We have been neighbours for 10 years, and friends for four of those,” says Daryl. “Interestingly, despite the fact that Mark and I had been living right across the road from each other since 2005, we only met four years ago, and that was thanks to our bikes. I met Mark leaving his house for the start of the Argus Cycle Tour one morning four years ago, and riding together to the start, we realised that we had a lot in common, especially the love of the bike. We’ve been great friends since, and this will be the first Cape Epic for both of us.”
The pair has raced Sani2C together before, in 2014, where they finished 86th overall in the race edition, despite Mark having suffered concussion in a crash during training only five days before the start of the race. They have also raced Transbaviaans together.
“We love to ride hard, but socialise even harder off the bike,” says Daryl. “At Sani we were often the last to leave the dinner table, last to leave the breakfast table, and consequently the last to make it into our chutes before each stage start. We had non-stop fun, but were also chuffed with our finishing position.
“To us, Qhubeka means one thing: Access. Access to opportunities, access to education, access to good health, as well as healthcare, access to friendship. The bike is one of the most simple, elegant, and timeless engineering designs. It’s amazing how two wheels, a frame and brakes allows one to cross continents, and cultures. On the bike, it does not matter what one’s background is; day-job is; culture is. We are all cyclists, whether for sport, or transport. We are all looking to get from A to B as fast as possible, as safely as possible. Sometimes B is a post-ride coffee shop, sometimes B is work, sometimes school. But it’s the bike that takes us there. Quickly. In some cities, perhaps even more quickly than motorised transport.By enabling access to bicycles, Qhubeka enables access to so much more. We are proud to support this cause, and we look forward to doing our bit to contribute to this enabler of access – the bicycle.”