Durban – Kargo Pro MTB Team, South Africa’s first ever UCI Trade Team, got their 2015 season off to the ideal start when they clinched three of the top four positions at the opening leg of the STIHL South African Mountain Biking Series in Port Elizabeth, paving the way for the rest of their cross country-focused season.
While the South African mountain biking market places much emphasis on the marathon and stage racing scene, Kargo will stay concentrated on the Olympic discipline of cross country – and the UCI MTB World Cup in particular – while dabbling in select marathon and stage events in 2015.
One such event is the upcoming ABSA Cape Epic where Kargo flyers Emil Lindgren and Brendon Davids are relishing taking on some of the best stage racing pairs in the world.
Davids takes great confidence from the weekend’s SA Cup Series clash into the Cape Epic contest after coming within a whisker of clinching victory from SCOTT Factory Racing powered by LCB’s Philip Buys while Swedish National XCO Champ Lindgren sees the eight day challenge as one of his major’s for 2015.
“It was great to put in a strong performance in Port Elizabeth on the weekend,” said Davids.
“It would have been great to have gotten past Philip towards the end there but to have come so close and then for Emil (Lindgren) to finish third, Alan (Hatherly) fourth and Marco (Joubert) winning the juniors was hugely positive for our whole Kargo team!”
Importantly, the Eastern Cape clash also afforded Lindgren the opportunity to adapt from the sub-zero temperatures he has been training in over the past few months back home to the heat and dust of South Africa ahead of the 15-22 March Cape Epic showdown.
While setting themselves personal goals per stage and eager to challenge for a top five position overall, Davids and Lindgren will also be eyeing out vital UCI points at the globally renowned Western Cape spectacle.
Rio de Janeiro is frantically gearing up to host the 2016 Olympic Games and riders around the world are desperately seeking points earning opportunities to ensure the qualification of both their nation and themselves for the coveted event.
A positive points return and a subsequent improved global ranking will also aid in the team’s rider’s position on the start line of the upcoming World Cups, a major focus for the Kargo setup in 2015.
The team’s World Cup campaign kicks off in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic on 23 and 24 May before heading to Albstadt in Germany the following weekend.
Kargo Pro MTB’s World Cup plans received an added boost recently when chain lubricant sponsor Squirt confirmed they will assist the team with their accommodation at all UCI MTB World Cup legs.
“We at Squirt are extremely excited to be involved with a team of the caliber of Kargo Pro MTB and their success on the track and professionalism both on and off the bike is superb,” said Squirt’s De Wet Marais.
“It is great for Squirt to be able to continue our support of their international aspirations through assisting them throughout the busy World Cup programme!”
Davids and Lindgren take on the ABSA Cape Epic from 15-22 March before the whole Kargo team returns to their cross country ways at the second leg of the SA Cup Series in Johannesburg on 28 March and the Pietermaritzburg Mountain Biking Festival’s HC category cross country event on 3 April.
More info is available at www.peschlracing.com