RMB Change a Life Zulus make a charge for BSi Steel dusi2c podium

Pietermaritzburg – Martin Dreyer’s RMB Change a Life Academy is mounting a strong assault on this year’s BSi Steel dusi2c on 20 and 21 June as the pioneering Valley of a Thousand Hills setup goes in search of another strong display on their home turf.

Starting at Camps Drift in Pietermaritzburg and finishing at Durban’s Blue Lagoon, the two day mountain bike stage race sees participants follow much of the route of the renowned Dusi Canoe Marathon, much of which passes through the homesteads of the communities in which Dreyer’s charges call home.

“To ride through the valley and to race in front of their family, friends and fellow community members is just so incredibly special for our Zulus; it’s probably the highlight of the year for many of our guys!” explains Dreyer, a seven time winner of iconic paddling Dusi Canoe Marathon.

“Racing in front of their very own community – who turn out in huge numbers when they hear there is a mountain bike race coming through the area and that some of their fellow community members are racing – is a huge motivating factor for our Zulus,” he adds.

While the RMB Change a Lifers look to shine in front of their home fans, Dreyer hopes the local support doesn’t prove to be their undoing as well.

“Hopefully they’re not too reckless when the crowd starts cheering them on!” says Dreyer tongue-in-cheek.

“It’s almost like an aeroplane doing a flyby or a steam training leaving the station with its ‘choo-choo’; when our guys hear the crowd they almost can’t help but stand and put power!” he laughs.

For most the race serves as a unique opportunity to explore the region’s picturesque hills and valleys and experience a truly African two days of mountain biking.

For Dreyer’s Zulus though the BSi Steel dusi2c is far more. “The link between the race and our academy riders is almost indescribable!”

“Even just the route that the race follows – that is our daily training venue!

“What is also so special about the BSi Steel dusi2c though is how there is nothing contrived about the route; it is such a wonderful, flowing track but Farmer Glen hasn’t invented anything for the race, those are the trails that had existed in the valley already and what my guys train on daily!

“The only difference would be the incredible, typically ‘Farmer Glen’ river crossings which occasionally see the guys getting their socks a bit wet and add yet another awesome element to this wonderful race.”

2014 saw RMB Change a Life’s John Ntuli and Ndumiso Dontso finish joint third and this year the fast-emerging MTB outfit are looking at replicating, if not bettering, the feat.

“An RMB Change a Life team finishing on the podium again this year is definitely a reality!” believes Dreyer. “Hopefully our A team of Sthembiso Masango and Mboneni Ngcobo will have the race of their career at this year’s dusi2c.”

“The whippy nature of the route and the tight, technical turns really suits their PYGA Industries 750B machines too so hopefully they’ll be right in the mix.”

Masango and Ngcobo aren’t the only ones pushing for significant dusi2c returns though.

“Sipho (Kupiso) – who has really come into his own over the past few months – will be riding with Maza (Ndumiso Dontso) and while they really complement each other so well, they are also such good friends which is really important when it comes to stage racing.

“They rode both joBerg2c and sani2c together so they’ve built up an understanding on the bike and now they’ve got a race that suits them even better than the others!”

In total four Change a Life outfits will be charging down the trails from Pietermaritzburg to Durban in June, three of which have been generously backed by the race itself and title sponsors BSi Steel.

“A huge thanks to Farmer Glen, dusi2c and BSi Steel for their support of three of our four teams that will be taking part in this year’s race!” says an appreciative Dreyer.

“Their support really is extremely helpful as entries get snapped up online within hours of going on sale and I would hate for any of our guys to miss out on this opportunity that means so much to them.”

More information can be found at www.dusi2c.co.za

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