Himeville – Martin Dreyer’s RMB Change a Life MTB Academy has grown from strength to strength in recent years and this year may see them produce their best set of Nedbank sani2c results yet as their four pairings look to take on some of the best pro riders in the country from 14-16 May.
While still relative newcomers to the sport, Dreyer’s enthusiastic outfit continues to set the KwaZulu-Natal mountain biking scene alight with their regular top performances and another strong showing at this Sani Pass to Scottburgh Main Beach three day dash has many close to the Valley of a Thousand Hills setup excited.
“The fact that four of the top pro teams set to miss this year’s sani2c due to their participation in the UCI MTB World Cups in Europe definitely opens things up quite a bit,” says Dreyer. “I certainly don’t think the level will be quite as diminished as maybe some are expecting though!”
“It may be a little easier to get into the top 10 with some of the guys being away but there are still plenty of talented pro teams around that the battle for the podium positions will still be very competitive!”
“My guys will however definitely be a little extra excited by the chance that they could possibly find themselves in the mix a bit more and while an overall podium I think will still be extremely difficult, maybe we’ll look to target a stage podium at some stage,” he adds with a hint of excitement himself.
Change a Life’s top challenge is most likely to come from stand-out performers Sthembiso Masango and Mboneni Ngcobo while Ndumiso ‘Maza’ Dontso and Sipho Kupiso will hope to continue to their recent trend of immense growth at the renowned event.
Youngsters Siyanda Masango and Dumisani Shabalala have also come along in leaps and bounds in recent months and will represent the third string to the Change a Life bow while the fourth is yet to be decided.
“All of our guys did really well at the National MTB Series race in Clarens over the weekend and I was extremely impressed with four of our RMB Change a Life Zulus finishing inside the top 15!” says Dreyer.
“That was the first time in quite some time that our guys took on such a top class, pro elite field over 120 kilometres and they all did really well.
“It can be quite easy to go out too hard when you’re part of a field as strong as that was however our guys raced smart and I think that will stand them in really good stead come sani2c.
“Clarens was also really good prep in terms of the racing environment that our guys were exposed to and it if our Zulus coped with that hardcore, ‘dog eat dog’ kind of environment then coming back to the sani2c style of racing should make things a little easier.”
Dreyer also believes his teams’ past experiences of the Nedbank sani2c will also aid in their ability to achieve their goals come this year’s three day duel tremendously.
“The sani2c is a race that every mountain biker dreams of doing!
“A lot of our guys have now been there before though, some have even done it twice, and that should really help ease the nervous tension and help them prepare mentally because they now know what to expect.
“This will also definitely help us be more competitive in our approach to this year’s sani; our guys have paid their school fees and now they can look to go out there and show everyone just what they’re capable of,” says Dreyer.
The 11th edition of the Nedbank sani2c’s gets underway when the Trail event takes place from 12-14 May 2015. The Adventure then unfolds from 13-15 May before the cream of the the country’s top mountain bikers do battle during the Race from 14-16 May. More information can be found at www.sani2c.co.za