Marathon specialist Ben Melt Swanepoel, and Cross Country specialist Renay Groustra (RSAWEB) have paired up for Sani2c, which kicks off on the 17th May.
Ben Melt, who has raced for the Mazda Merida, Mazda Drifter, MTN, and Specialized SA teams, and also a former winner of the event has high hopes for the 3 day race. “We hope to achieve podium finishes on each stage, and also the overall ranking at the end of the race.” Says Goustra.
The race kicks off in Underberg on Thursday and winds itself through the Natal Midlands, crosses the famous Umkomaas Valley, before making its way to Scottburgh in Durban on day 3.
The pairing is certainly a dynamic duo, with Groustra specialising in the shorter and more technical Cross Country discipline, and Ben Melt excelling in marathons, they definitely have all their bases covered.
“I think this will be a good race for us as Sani2c is unique in the fact that it is still a marathon event, but takes on the characteristics of an XC race with all its technical singletrack, and tights turns, and steep climbs. I think we have all our bases covered.” Said Groustra, who is currently riding for Team RSA Web and who has had podium finishes in this race before.
The two decided to team up only one month before the event, with Ben Melt’s partner Marc Bassigthwaight being in Europe for his Olympic campaign, and Groustra lacking in mountain bike team mates this year. They will have some tough competition to face though, with 360Life’s Kevin Evans and David George hot off their Joburg2c victory, the Max Know and Mannie Heymans pairing, Team RECM’s Waylon Woolcock and Neil Mc Donald, Fedgroup Itec Connect’s Brandon Stewart and Jaques Rossouw, and a host of other top contender to deal with.