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Team Absa 2012 gear up for Absa Cape Epic

With just over one week to go to the toughest mountain bike stage race in the world, Team Absa 2012 is leaving nothing to chance in making final preparations for the 2012 Absa Cape Epic.

The race takes place from 25 March to 1 April 2012 in the Western Cape and features the biggest race team Absa has entered into the event to date.

“Absa is very excited about being involved in the 2012 Absa Cape Epic for the seventh consecutive year. We are proud of Team Absa 2012 and are confident that they will represent us really well,” says Steward Masela, Absa’s Sponsorship Manager.

Some recent changes to the team include the joining of rider pair Nico Panagio and Sean Kristafor, who will be representing Missing Children South Africa through their participation. The pair are experienced mountain bike riders and have been preparing for the Absa Cape Epic together since November last year.

Rugby World Cup hero, Joel Stransky, has been paired with deputy-editor of the Financial Mail, Max Gebhardt. “The two men have already developed a formidable partnership that will stand them in good stead during the tough conditions of the race. Both are well prepared and mentally fit,” says Team Manager, Ernst Viljoen.

Each rider will be participating on behalf of their selected charity, to which Absa will generously donate R 1,300.00 per rider per stage completed.

The riders in the team range from mountain bike “rookie” and decorated long distance runner, Elana Meyer, to the likes of Kristafor and Viljoen who have already completed the race three times. “That is the joy of riding in a team - you have the support of your partner to keep you going. We will all be spurring each other on at the finish lines of each stage,” explains Viljoen.

Although the training has proven challenging and time-consuming, the overall feeling in the team is one of excitement and great anticipation.

“The riders have done all they can to prepare themselves physically for the race. The long hours of diligent training will pay off. For now, we have to focus on being mentally ready, and getting off to a good start at Meerendal,” says Viljoen.