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Local cyclists Daan Terblanche (left) and Kombo Bere (right), pictured on Saturday as they started winding down their gruelling practice regime for this year’s Absa Cape Epic.

Amazing support from community helps cyclists to chase their dreams

Date: 09 March 2024 By: Andries van Zyl

With this year's Absa Cape Epic Cycle Race around the corner, preparation time for Louis Trichardt cyclists Kombo Bere (26) and Daan Terblanche (23) is running out quickly. However, the duo said they were ready and up for the challenge. As reported earlier, Kombo and Daan received the unique opportunity to compete in this year's Cape Epic, entering as a development team and having their R145,000 entry fee waived by the race organisers. By entering, they became the first development team from the Soutpansberg to compete in the Cape Epic. For both this is also a dream come true as neither of them has done the Cape Epic before.

Kombo and Daan will be leaving for the Cape on 14 March. At present, they are winding down their gruelling practice regime and will have their taper week next week. “That is just to maintain our fitness levels,” said Daan. The Zoutpansberger caught up with them on Saturday.

Taking place from 17 to 24 March this year, the Absa Cape Epic stretches over 684km over eight days, with a total elevation of 16,800 metres. To put that into perspective, Daan and Kombo will “summit” Mount Everest twice during the eight days. To put it into an even better local perspective, the duo will climb on average 2,000 to 2,500 metres daily. That means cycling from the foot of the Soutpansberg to the Hanglip picnic spot and back, repeating this four to five times a day.

Asked how their nerves were holding up, both Kombo and Daan said they were confident. Over the last couple of weeks, they have done the hard work by following a rigorous training programme. Neither of them has done a race anywhere close to the level of physical and mental strain required for the Cape Epic, apart from a three-day stage race. “I am confident but also a little scared,” said Daan. As for Kombo, he is 100% sure their fitness levels are on par. “Most definitely!” said Kombo.

However, for the two to get to go to the Cape Epic was not plain sailing. Although their entry fee was waived, all expenses getting there and back, including accommodation and meals before and after the race, had to be paid for by them. They are grateful for the support they have received.

“The support we have received so far is tremendous! We really need to thank our community. The community has really jumped on board in support. It has been amazing,” said Kombo. He and Daan both expressed hope that the race is going to be as amazing as the support they received. “God bless everyone who helped us. It is difficult to thank everyone, because there are just so many people!' said the duo.

As for the current state of the finances involved, most expenses have been sorted out. “The logistics afterwards are still a problem. That includes two or three days’ accommodation and meals,” said Kombo.

For both Kombo and Daan, their first goal is to finish their first-ever Cape Epic. But they also have their expectations. “For me, it's not just about the racing side; it's also about networking. I am very much a people-minded person. I would like to have conversations with the guys and meet people in the corporate world. It will be eye-opening. As a person, you can always learn something from the next person. I really look forward to that,” said Kombo. He added that he was considering a career in cycling development. “I think God is really pulling me in that direction,” he said.

For Daan, the excitement of the race is most important. “I am very optimistic. But I must say, I am a bit intimidated. It is quite something new to me, but I really want to push my body to the limits to see how far I can go. Also, I will use this as a stepping stone for something bigger in life and see where it leads,” said Daan.

Persons still wishing to help the duo out, especially with the post-race logistics, can phone Stanley Thompson at Tel: 082 493 3897.

 

 
 
 

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Andries van Zyl

Andries joined the Zoutpansberger and Limpopo Mirror in April 1993 as a darkroom assistant. Within a couple of months he moved over to the production side of the newspaper and eventually doubled as a reporter. In 1995 he left the newspaper group and travelled overseas for a couple of months. In 1996, Andries rejoined the Zoutpansberger as a reporter. In August 2002, he was appointed as News Editor of the Zoutpansberger, a position he holds until today.

 
 

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