Vuurberg Wines, Helshoogte Pass, Stellenbosch, Thursday February 8 & Friday February 9. DarkFEST is set to hit Stellenbosch on Friday 8 and Saturday 9 February, and will be an action-packed event, with huge sends, brutal slams and massive hits with the best crew in MTB. Talking about brutal slams, Sam Reynolds is out of the event. On Tuesday evening the guys had a test session on the track, and started warming up on the step-up and drop, checking speed for the newly upgraded big beast of a trick jump. The nerves were high. The lip is around 5m tall with the landing 15m away, which makes this one of, if not the biggest trick jump ever! After a few run-ins to eye it up, Sam decided to send it first. Not knowing what speed to head into it, his main concern was overshooting it. With such a steep landing you could end up coming down a long way. He went in fast, but not full speed and popped high off the lip. Unfortunately he just didn't get the distance, and had to hit the eject button. He came down hard on the back of the landing, taking a lot of the impact on his foot, hip and shoulder all on his right, but his left hand and wrist took the brunt of the force and he fractured and dislocated some of his carpals and shattered the end of his ulna. It's surgery time for Sam. This obviously means he won't be able to ride at DarkFEST, which we are sad to say, but the madness will still continue and Sam will be around to chat to fans and cheer his friends on! "Absolutely devastated to say that I won't be able to ride DarkFEST this year,” said Sam. “My wrist is badly broken, and am going in for a complicated surgery. Can't wait to watch the boys send it from the sidelines though and I'm so motivated to get it back strong enough to ride this line again one day!" The Hellsend Dirt Compound at the Vuurberg farm will be open to the public for 2 days only, with a limited batch of tickets up for grabs for the Friday 8th and Saturday 9th sessions, so we're . . .
South African cycling distribution company Positive Sports Solutions has added a further string to its bow by setting up a financial arm to assist local cyclists. The new division, Positive Capital Solutions, will create funding options for cyclists, covering all products within the company's range. In the latter stages of 2017, Positive Sports Solutions embarked on a strategy to make premier brands available at an affordable price to cyclists in the Southern African Development Community. Starting with HEAD Bikes, its portfolio has widened to include Gipiemme wheels, Westfalia bike carriers, LUCK shoes, RYDERS eyewear and Controltech products. Positive Sports marketing manager Lynette Burger-Pieterse said the rising cost of equipment had led to the decision to create a financial division to assist customers. "In our experience, we have seen that there is definitely a demand for this sort of funding," she said. "There are already two finance companies in place, but we believe we are in a good position to provide that sort of service." She added that Positive Capital Solutions would finance any of the products in its range, with a minimum contract value of R20 000. "Suppliers who stock Positive Sports Solutions products will provide the customer with a direct link to our financial division or a customer can apply directly through us at Positive Sports." Burger-Pieterse said the financial terms were available for companies or individuals, with each application being subject to the normal credit checks applicable in a business of this nature. "Besides the minimum contract of R20 000, we follow similar criteria set out by finance companies," she added. "There are no limitations as to what we cover, providing the products are all within the company's range." Burger-Pieterse said it was still early days for the division, having only started in January, but they had already received a number of enquiries. "We feel our funding model . . .
The Berge & Dale road cycling race will celebrate its 20th anniversary in style next month, with Takealot.com coming on board as naming sponsor for one of the country's most popular events. The annual race takes place in Krugersdorp on the West Rand on February 23, starting and finishing at the Silverstar Casino. The feature distance will be over 108km, while there is also an offering of 60km. A premier seeding event for the Cape Town Cycle Tour, it presents another chance for race organisers ASG Events and Takealot, the country's biggest online store, to cement their growing partnership. Having already sponsored one of the country's premier road stage tours in the Tour of Good Hope, Takealot chief marketing officer Julie-Anne Walsh said the Berge & Dale formed part of their long-term strategy. "Thanks to our close relationship with ASG, this is more than just adding immediate value," she said. "Takealot's aim is to establish itself as a cycling destination so anything that can help us achieve that, such as visibility at events like this, is key. "It will also give us an opportunity to interact with cyclists to understand what they want to buy online, where the product gaps are and source information from them to take our store offering to a superior level." Walsh added they were looking forward to continuing their partnership with ASG Events as it had the potential to benefit both parties. "ASG have been instrumental in helping us roll out our cycling store, with the cycling expertise they bring to the table. "In terms of our business model, we want to form closer relationships with our customers and interact with them to get a better understanding of how we can support them online." ASG Group chief executive Heinrich Dannhauser said they had enjoyed a fantastic relationship with Takealot over the past few years. "We already offer some of the best brands and products to local consumers, as do Takealot, and, with this . . .
The international cycling body last week officially confirmed UCI status for the Takealot Tour of Good Hope, sparking a rising wave of interest in the March event. The tour, one of South Africa's premier road races, takes place in the Cape Winelands from March 4 to 8, providing a showcase for both local and overseas riders to earn international ranking points. Although gaining UCI 2.2 status was a virtual formality for the race, ASG Events chief executive Erick Oosthuizen said they were delighted to have been officially given the green light. "It was really just a matter of waiting for the next UCI management meeting which took place last week and we received the confirmation on Friday," he said. "The Tour of Good Hope was already on the map, but we believe this elevates it to another level. "Since it was announced my inbox has been flooded with teams wanting to participate, so we are just scrutinising them at the moment. "We have had interest from teams in France, Germany, United Arab Emirates and Mauritius, as well as quite a few African nations. It's been quite amazing." Oosthuizen added that there had been a lot of talk among the local teams as well and "with the Olympics coming up I think everybody is keen to get UCI points on the board". The 2020 Olympic Games take place in Tokyo from July 24 to August 9 and this year acts as a qualification period until October. Cycling SA general manager Mike Bradley said it was one of the national body's top priorities to create more opportunities for South African riders to earn UCI points. "The higher our riders rank internationally, the more we will have to qualify for the 2020 Olympics," he said. "Having UCI status helps from a strategic point of view, allowing our riders to earn points in events close to home." He added that it was exciting to have the Tour of Good Hope's UCI status officially confirmed. "It gives a lot of our riders the chance to race against international riders . . .
German mountain-biker Udo Mueller is fired up to show what he can do as he sets out to defend his title in the solo category of the Liberty TransCape MTB Encounter next week. The seven-stage mountain-bike race, powered by Volvo, starts in George on Sunday and will end next Saturday at Holden Manz Wine Estate in Franschhoek in the Western Cape. Riders will undertake a 591km journey through some of the most popular and scenic trails in South Africa and the 41-year-old Mueller said he was excited to be doing the event for the second time. "Last year was the first time I experienced this event and every year I aim to do a major stage race, with South Africa the much preferred destination," he said. "The TransCape was so well organised last year that it was a pleasure to ride it and I am looking forward to experiencing the beautiful trails again." Mueller said he would be part of a group of six riders from Germany attending the event as they looked to escape the harsh winter of Europe. "The thing is we have winter here and you have summer, so this is a chance for us to compete in a race in such good weather." He added that he would only be doing the TransCape while in South Africa, but would definitely be planning further visits to the country. Mueller won the solo category ahead of Switzerland's Roland Mueller last year, with Stefan Hackl, also of Germany, in third place. Hackl will be back this year and the defending champion said he would be one to watch. With last year's team winners HB Kruger and Stuart Marais not in the field this time, new champions will be crowned in this category next weekend. Although the riders will experience a slightly shorter overall journey this year, route director Wayne Collett has warned that it did not mean it would be easy. "We have tried to keep every stage to under 100km," he said. "There are some just over that distance but if you are well prepared it is something everyone should be able to . . .
Ryan Sandes will be lining up with the some of the world’s best ultra-marathon trail runners for the 11th annual 102km Tarawera Ultramarathon in New Zealand on the 9th of February. Known as one of the most competitive races in the ultra-running world, Ryan will be using this race as part of Western States preparations. “Tarawera is a great early season race to be taking part in, especially as a lead up to Western States which is my focus race for the first part of 2019,” explains Ryan. “The conditions at the race are fast and runnable throughout, which is very similar to Western States, so it will give me a goof idea of where I am with my overall strength and fitness!” The 102km route, which is based in Rotorua, New Zealand, sees 2000 athletes traversing through sites of cultural significance to the native Maori’s including 7 lakes, forests, waterfalls and what has been described as the most stunning scenery imaginable. After completing the Great Himalaya Trail FKT with running partner and friend, Ryno Griesel last year, Sandes explains that the rest of his racing season for 2018 didn’t go according to plan. “I really enjoyed Tarawera in 2016, and I am hoping that running it again this year can help me to mentally be on the “right-foot” for Western States,” says Ryan. The race has attracted many of the worlds’ top trail running elites including Americans Cody Reed and Tim Freriks and Brit, Harry Jones, to mention a few. The 2019 Tarawera Ultra forms part of the Ultra Trail World Tour and is also a qualifier for both Western States and Ultra Trail Mont Blanc. To follow Ryan live on race day (Saturday 09 February 2019) please make sure to follow his social media pages: Facebook - @Ryan.Nicholas.Sandes Twitter - @RyanSandes Instagram - @RyanSandes www.ryansandes.com CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Madibaz cricketer Lutho Sipamla was "surprised and shocked" to get a call-up to the Proteas cricket team, but is determined to make the most of the opportunity. The 20-year-old fast bowler, who is in the second year of a business management degree, was named on Friday in the national squad for the three-match Twenty20 series against Pakistan. His selection comes after he caught the eye of the cricketing world with some impressive performances in the Mzansi Super League last year, finishing the inaugural competition as the second highest wicket-taker (16). After he received the call informing him about his selection, Sipamla said he was "happy, nervous and emotional all at the same time". "It was not something I was expecting and although I know I have put in a lot of hard work it still came as something completely out of the blue. "Of course it is very exciting for me because it has been a dream [to play for South Africa] since I was a young boy," added the former Grey High pupil. "Hopefully I will get a chance to play and I just want to go out there and make the most of my opportunity. "I'm definitely excited about my cricket at this stage and am looking forward to the challenge." Last year Sipamla, along with Madibaz colleague Tiaan Koekemoer, was selected for the University Sport South Africa side and at the start of the 2018-19 season he was chosen for the Warriors franchise squad. "When you play franchise cricket you have to be good and on point, and I had to work a lot on my execution and my consistency," he said. "Concentrating on that helped me to improve my overall game and become a better player, I guess." He added that the coaching teams at Madibaz and the Warriors had been "a big driving force in my cricket". "Every practice and every game I play I get to learn from all the seniors by speaking to them and asking questions. "Every day I am learning and that's what I need to do at this stage. "I am looking forward . . .
New Madibaz rugby coach Jarryd Buys is banking on a strong work ethic as the Nelson Mandela University outfit face a challenging season in the Varsity Shield competition, starting next month. After being relegated from the Varsity Cup last year, Madibaz will spend two seasons playing Varsity Shield rugby as the promotion-relegation matches take place only every second year. Buys, a former provincial player who coached the team at last year's University Sport South Africa week, did not sugar-coat their situation as he reflected on 2018. However, he remains positive about the path which lies ahead. "The relegation to the Shield was a big shock for a team that competed in semifinals not that long ago and we are certainly not taking the change lightly," he said. "Unfortunately we have lost a lot of players, especially seniors, either through age, graduation or moving on to other opportunities. "But we do have a great group of young players that we will look to build on." He added that the critical element in their approach would be to ensure they maintained the high standards set at Madibaz rugby. "We are a team who will compete in the Shield, but we will train and play as if we are competing in the playoffs of the Varsity Cup. "Culture-wise we want to have a team which is very sound academically and able to compete with the rest of the universities in the country." Buys said they had placed a massive emphasis on adopting the right frame of mind by not agonising over their situation. "Eastern Cape sport sometimes carries the baggage of being underdogs and it is something that needs to change," he said. "It is easy to talk about finances and what other teams are doing, but our main focus is having the right mentality to win rugby games on a regular basis. "As long as we, as the management team, can take care of the off-field work, the guys will produce the goods on the field. This Madibaz rugby team wants to win!" The coach added . . .
Summer doesn’t mean fun in the sun for every youngster in KwaZulu-Natal. Although many live along the East Coast of South Africa, children from disadvantaged communities seldom have an opportunity to learn to swim, putting their lives in danger. That’s why uShaka Marine World created the Swimanathi three years ago. This KZN Water Safety and Learn to Swim Programme enables children from disadvantaged communities to learn to swim and find out about all the ins and outs of water safety so that they can enjoy themselves beside a pool or on the beach without the risk of injury or drowning. In 2019, uShaka Marine World & SAAMBR and its partners, the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation, Tsogo Sun, eThekwini Municipality, Gagasi 99.5fm, Lifesaving SA plan to teach 150 children from uShaka’s neighbouring Addington Primary School, all of which come from disadvantaged communities, how to enjoy themselves as well as learn about water safely. The youngsters, aged between 10 and 12 (grades 4 to 6) will be divided into groups of 15 and will be given meals and costumes. Lessons during the six week weekend training programme will take place from January 26th until March 3rd. In addition to learning how to swim, uShaka Marine World will also teach these children about the wonders of the ocean. A dolphin show will introduce them to the marine theme park’s wonderful dolphins while a tour of the Aquarium and some lessons from Sea World will teach them all about marine conservation and the importance of conserving our precious marine resources. On March 9, the programme will culminate in the Mighty Kids event, a water obstacle course complete with inflatable challenge of slides, twists and turns, that will pit the province’s newest water babies against any other youngsters wishing to participate on the day. Speaking at the Swimanathi media launch on Thursday, January 24th, uShaka Marine World CEO, Dr Stella Khumalo said that ensuring that future generations were . . .
Helsgoogte Valley, Stellenbosch - Sam, Clemens & Nico have been working hard creating magic at the DarkFEST site just outside Stellenbosch in the beautiful Helshoogte Valley. Two new features are being added to the end of the line this year, so the focus has been at the bottom of the course this week. The gigantic step up has had an overhaul and is slightly hipped to the right now to lead into a flat drop into the road below and then into a chute down to a big stepped up trick jump. Between building, the guys have been enjoying the flow trail and jumps at Hellsend Dirt Compound, which is conveniently on the same farm and the best way to loosen the body up after sitting in a digger all day. Some rain has come through and helped tonnes with the building, it has been just enough to keep the dirt sticking together and perfect for compacting and sculpting the lips and landings. The guys made full use of a few showers that came down on Friday and managed to give most of the line a once over and the freshly shaped dirt is looking too good already! Not much longer till testing begins, just some piling needed for the last big trick jump and it's time to get the bikes on it! Confirmed Riders: Sam Reynolds, Clemens Kaudela, Nico Vink, Tom van Steenbergen, Adolf Silva, Brendan Fairclough, Ethan Nell, DJ Brand, Nicholi Rogatkin, Jordie Lunn, Graham Agassis, Matt Macduff, Tom Reynolds, Darryl Brown, Theo Erlangsen, Kurt Sorge, Makken. DarkFEST has partnered up with new social network Vero. Vero has grown to over 4 million users and has been the most-downloaded app in the app stores across the world. Both DarkFEST and Sam Reynolds have profiles on Vero, where they will be sharing daily happenings, behind the scenes action, giveaways and of course there will be plenty of DarkFEST coverage literally as the action happens. Vero has no ads, algorithms, data mining, data tracking, bots, and they do not own your content. Vero also features a chronological feed and . . .