Absa once again hosted their popular #ConquerAsOne campaign in the lead up and during the 2018 Absa Cape Epic. The three-phase competition is now in its final stage of voting. Cecil Bosman and Francois Bosman won the reader competition, and Dawie Theron and Nelis Coetzee of Team 2Big were crowned the winning team in the rider competition. These two teams now go up against each other in a final round of voting, to win the ultimate prize: a coveted Absa Pride entry for the 2019 event.
Cecil Bosman’s winning story
Cecil and his riding partners cycled from Marrakech, Morocco to Knysna, South Africa – covering 18,500km without any support. They used the trip as a platform to raise funds for Aids orphans. Overcoming many obstacles along the way, they supported each other to stay motivated and true to their cause. This led to an inseparable bond between these riding mates. Cecil hopes to take to Absa Cape Epic soil in 2019 with Francois. The Bosman brothers hail from Knysna, where they took to outdoor adventure at a very early age. Cycling has always been one of their hobbies, and together they have overcome many obstacles on the bike. Read Cecil Bosman’s full story.
Dawie Theron and Nelis Coetzee’s winning story
Known as Team 2Big, Dawie Theron and Nelis Coetzee are arguably the heaviest team to have ever competed in the Absa Cape Epic race, weighing in at an imposing 260kg. Despite their size they decided to take on the 2018 Absa Cape Epic since Dawie was determined to do the event before he turned 50. As the biggest riders in the field, in true #ConquerAsOne spirit, the two inspired others to believe in their ability as they fought to achieve their goal. Read: Dawie Theron and Nelis Coetzee’s full story.
These teams have equally inspiring stories, but only one of them can walk away with the 2019 Absa Pride Entry to the Absa Cape Epic. Their inspiring stories of overcoming hardship on the bike got them this far, but now your votes will decide their fate.
· Vote here: https://www.bicycling.co.za/sponsored/vote-choose-absa-conquerasone-winner/
· 2017 #ConquerAsOne winners Justin and Bevan Jeffreys: https://www.facebook.com/Absa.Bank/videos/10155552423218251/
Daily #ConquerAsOne winning moments
During each stage of the 2018 Absa Cape Epic, a #ConquerAsOne moment was identified and rewarded where teams showed strength of the human spirit.
A panel of judges selected one #ConquerAsOne moment each day. These winners received a unique #ConquerAsOne jersey to wear during the following day’s stage.
Here is a list of all of the daily winning moments:
Stage 1: Andisiwe Skeyi and Malusi Buthelezi personified what teamwork is about as they survived the tough 110km route on Stage 1 of the 2018 ABSA Cape Epic. It was only Andisiwe’s second stage race, , having completed her first event just three weeks earlier. From early on, the two Exarro riders battled at the back of the field, Andisiwe struggling up the climbs, and by 35km the two were last in the field. As they survived the climbs and headed into the second half of the stage it was clear that Andisiwe was taking strain, but Malusi, a veteran of four Absa Cape Epics, proved to be the ultimate Epic #ConquerAsOne partner. On the climbs he pushed Andisiwe and encouraged her every pedal stroke, shouting ‘Power, Power!’. Together they pushed to the finish, Andisiwe managing to find a second wind, overtaking the second last pair in the final kilometre.
Stage 2: When the tyre sidewall on Henry Angrove’s bike collapsed with 12km to go on the 106km second stage of the 2018 Absa Cape Epic, he accepted it would be a long walk to the finish line. As the two (add in his partener’s name) struggled along the dusty jeep tracks Robert Izzett and Pierre Griffioen, of Team MegaPointe, decided to help the pair in a most unusual way: First, Robert loaded Henry up behind him on his saddle and the two rode two-up down the road with Henry’s legs dangling out the side. And then, in a classic #ConquerAsOne moment, to ensure that Henry’s bike also got to the finish, Lyle skilfully pushed Henry’s bike while riding his own.
Stage 3: During stage 3, Martin Epstein and Craig Gerber, who are competitive at the sharp end of the field, came to the rescue of an Exxaro team in trouble. One of the Exxaro riders had fallen and hit his head badly and Martin and Craig stopped to assist. They cleaned the wound with their last bit of water and called the medical staff, waiting with the two Exxaro riders until medical help arrived, and were then forced to ride without water to the next water point on a sweltering day.
Martin and Craig’s gesture proved that camaraderie exists way beyond just the partnership of two riders at the ABSA Cape Epic.
Stage 4: Few pairings are more inspirational than Fred van Zyl and Eric Knoetze at the 2018 Absa Cape Epic. Their combined ages total 128, with Fredaiming to make historyas the oldest finisher. Fred, a former farmer and pastor from the Northern Cape who is now retired in Mossel Bay, is 71 years of age and is already the oldest person in the race.
Stage 5: No two riders enjoy the challenge of the Absa Cape Epic more than the Ezi-Come Ezi-Gro team of Robbie Rorich and Anthony Baird. The two last rode the Absa Cape Epic together in 2015, the year Robbie did his first event. At 19, Rorich –a top class trail runner, mechanical engineering student and artist– was one of the youngest riders to ever complete an Absa Cape Epic. Robbie rode again in 2016 and 2017 and was eager to maintain his streak. In the months leading up to the race he scoured the social networks but only managed to get an entry 10 days before the start. He knew of only one person who was likely to take up the challenge that close to the start – his Dusi canoe rat friend Anthony who, in typical #ConquerAsOne style, agreed to ride.
Stage 6: When you think of your typical Absa Cape Epic riders you don’t think of Dawie Theron and Nelis Coetzee of the 2Big team. Between them they weigh an imposing 260kg and are arguably the heaviest team to have ever competed in the event. Since Dawie was determined to do the event before he turned 50, the two decided to take on the challenge despite their size. As the biggest riders in the field, the two hope that they will inspire others to believe in their ability to finish events like the Absa Cape Epic.