Carl Pasio, team captain of the National Team for the 2014 Mzansi Tour, is confident ahead of the prestigious annual road cycling tour, which carries a UCI category 2.2 rating. Photo: Mylene Paynter
Cycling South Africa’s National road cycling team is looking forward to next week’s second annual Mzansi Tour powered by Cathsseta, which takes place in South Africa from 8 to 12 April 2014. The young riders will use the platform of the highly acclaimed UCI category 2.2 event to race together within a team structure.
Team Captain Carl Pasio is excited to be racing with the young and talented team riders. “For many of these riders, it will be their first time riding in a tour of this nature,” said Pasio. “At this stage it is all about gaining valuable experience for them and I am sure they will all do their best. I would like to see the guys work as a team throughout the tour and build one another up. A good result would be a bonus and I am sure we will all try our very best.”
Pasio’s positive energy is something he hopes will rub off on his teammates, keeping them motivated throughout the Mzansi Tour. “I intend keeping communication clear at all times between the riders and to give each rider the chance to perform at their best. We all have different strengths and I believe with a combined effort of our strengths we will achieve that much more.”
Training in the province of Girona, Spain, has provided Pasio with the ideal base for his preparations ahead of the five-day, five-stage event that will host South African and international cycling teams. “I feel confident for next week,” he said.
With the riders racing together as the National Team for the first time, Team Manager Owen Botha says that each rider will do the work that they are used to doing in their own team environment each week. “We’ll have the guys carrying out their usual strategy, and what they are used to,” said Botha. “The idea is to be very aggressive on the stages, as we want to hold one of the jerseys. We know from a GC (General Classification) point of view, with the likes of Team MTN-Qhubeka, La Pomme Marseille and Vini Fantini, that a stage win will be a tough ask. If we can keep Carl in the top 10, it will be good for us. Carl is a calculated rider, and he doesn’t risk too much. Coming back from Spain, he’ll have some good climbing in his legs.”
The 2014 Mzansi Tour National Team is as follows:
Carl Pasio (Team captain)
Morne van Niekerk
Team Manager – Owen Botha
Assistant Manager and soigneur – Brussouw Boshoff
Mechanic – Stephan Reyneke