Undoubtedly one of the country’s top mountain biking events, the ABSA Cape Epic once again invites riders to test their limits over six days from 17-24 October. This year, Curro, a leading independent group of schools, is joining in the action by sponsoring two “African Special Category” riders while funding two full scholarships for the children of the winners of the Exxaro category. Curro, which prides itself on learning excellence, sees the brand fit between the “Epic” and its schools as complementary as both focus on the unique journey of the experience, not just the destination.
“At Curro we push our learners to the peak of their potential, enabling them to reach new heights of self-development. The ABSA Cape Epic too pushes its entrants to be the best version of themselves, testing their abilities against the elements and tough terrain, to ultimately succeed but also to appreciate the long and sometimes challenging path taken to get there,” says Marí Lategan, Curro Holdings Executive: Corporate Services.
The two “African Special Category” riders are Phillimon Sebona and Jan Montshioa. Jan was born in Middelburg and has been cycling since 2007. Since then he has proven his mettle on numerous occasions, having received the best climber award for the Tour Mpumalanga in 2017, being among the Tour Limpopo’s Top 15, winning the Bridgestone Route 66 in 2014 and 2015 and also the coveted ABSA Cape Epic Development Jersey in 2015.
Phillimon was also born in Middelburg and too started cycling in 2007, although he initially started riding to get to school and back and did not intend on being a professional cyclist. But this is the path he took and he has represented South Africa twice in the XCM, which is the World Marathon Champs in Italy and Switzerland. He is also the co-founder of the theCycle2Ride programme, an initiative supported by Curro, as the Pro Rider and the Head of Development. Here, he teaches and trains children and families in communities such as Soweto and Mamelodi to ride.
“Phillimon and I have been training together for years, since 2005. We actually live together and when he trains I train. We have been preparing for the Epic for a long time, and use our rides to teach learners at Curro schools how to cycle, as our training – if we take the car we will get lazy! We teach them how to handle single-tracks and ride on ramps, but of course, they also want to wheelie so we always do that first. I want to thank Curro for their wonderful sponsorship and am looking very forward to the race,” says Jan.
Phillimon says that he will be sharing his experience of the ABSA Cape Epic, and all of its training, with the Cycle2Ride kids to inspire them to take their own cycling further. He also engages with their parents by giving them tips and tricks to handle the tracks.
“Both riders have enormous talent and have proven this time and time again since they started riding. It is an honour to sponsor both of these young men, who are already part of the Curro community, as they battle it out on the mountains in October. We are fully behind our boys and wish them all the best in their multi-stage day race,” says Lategan.
For the winners of the Exxaro category, their children will receive a life-changing opportunity to learn at a Curro school of their choice for the duration of their schooling, from Grade 1 to Grade 12. Each sponsorship is valued at R1,2-million.
“It is with great pleasure that we offer this opportunity to the families of the winning riders. Curro offers an outstanding education and, like the ABSA Cape Epic, encourages excellence while playing to each learners’ strengths. We look forward to welcoming the Exxaro category winners’ children to the Curro family,” concludes Lategan.