Last year, Team MTN-Qhubeka’s Songezo Jim rode the Trois Etapes for the first time. Today marks the start of the 2013 Trois Etapes and Songezo is once again riding to raise funds through World Bicycle Relief (WBR) for Qhubeka, WBR’s programme in South Africa.
The Trois Etapes is the ultimate competitive pro-am cycling experience, designed to give riders the chance to experience team cycling under race conditions, with the full support that a pro would have in a Grand Tour. The event is designed to incentivise tactical team riding. Each team of eight riders (seven amateurs and one pro) has its own team car and Directeur Sportif.
The 2013 edition of the Trois Etapes will see 14 teams compete over four days (26-29 July) over a flat Prologue and three mountain stages whilst raising crucial funds for charities worldwide.
Songezo loved last year’s Trois Etapes race and the people he met. On his first day in France in 2012, he took a ride with former HTC Highroad racer Craig Lewis. He also had the chance to meet Carlos Sastre, winner of the 2008 Tour de France, during the final stage of the event.
“Team MTN-Qhubeka nominated me to ride for the team, which felt great,” says Jim. “I got to represent my team and everything it’s about, including Qhubeka.”
Here’s a video profile on Songezo, where you can find out how a bicycle changed his life and how he feels about Qhubeka: