RMB CHANGE A LIFE ZULU MTB TEAM – FEB TO APRIL 2014 UPDATE….

RMB Change a Life ZULU MTB Team

It was awesome to have the RMB Change a Life Zulus adding value to the Change a Life Paddlers’ onslaught on the 2014 Dusi Canoe Marathon. Having “local knowledge” of the intricate paths of the Valley, allowed the RMB CAL Zulus to pop up in remote places, giving their support on the tough portage sections .

RMB CAL Zulu, Bongumusa, awaits to give a helping hand….to the CAL paddlers

Wartburg Mtb Classic – 65km
Last year this was the inaugural Mtb race for the RMB CAL team. I remember they were scattered over B, C & D batches. Fast forward to 2014, the entire team was A batched. The RMB CAL Zulus were highly excited and motivated to show off their fine form. It was a brilliant course, with tough steep hills, testing single track and a few pros to keep the pace honest.

The commentator and public witnessing the finish, were astounded when 3 RMB CAL Zulus crossed the line in top 10. Apart from Vela cramping severely in his lower back and being ambulanced to the finish, the guys rode exceptionally well. Hard work really does pay off  !!
5th-John, 8t –Stembiso 10th–Mboneni, 16th–Bongumusa, 23rd-Martin, 34th-Sizwe, 46th-Masa, 56th-Sabelo, 68th-Sipho, 83rd-Siyanda.

Team RMB CAL Zulus…. Wartburg Classic Mtb

Intaba Ridge Mtb Classic – 65km
With Joberg2c lurking on the horizon, the RMB Change a Life Zulus are always looking to “add value” to their long term performance – and what better way than to train hard the day before a local race.
With this in mind, the RMB CAL Zulus rode from the valley, to overnight at PMB Backpackers.
The following day they rode to the race. In muddy conditions, my Zulus raced as if their lives were at stake. The performance of the year so far was achieved, when Sthembiso stood tall on the podium in 3rd position overall, beaming from ear to ear. Mboneni 4th, Masa 8th , Bongumusa 19th . John Ntuli up near the front, unfortunately missed a marker and went off course.

SA Cup Series XCO

The following week, the RMB CAL Zulus took part in the first of the SA Cup Series XCO at the infamous Cascades Mtb Park. The course [lap racing] was super technical with radical short sharp inclines, gearing up for the World UCI XCO in a few weeks. Admittedly I opted for one of the ‘chicken run’ options in my 4 lap Veterans race beforehand, but then had the luxury of watching the Elite & my Zulus racing.

With John Ntuli claiming a 3rd overall in the competitive Sub veteran category, he was well pleased, seeing that this short intense lap racing is not his speciality.

RMB CAL John Ntuli 3rd in the Sub Vets

Stembiso placed 17th in the highly competitive Elite category, with Mboneni 8 positions behind him. I was pleased that there were no crashes in the Rock Gardens, a great experience for the RMB CAL Zulus.

Mboneni Ngcobo pushing hard….

Royal Drakensberg MTB Challenge
Last weekend the RMB Change a Life Zulu MTB team travelled up to the Drakensberg – mini training camp. On the Saturday before our race, we explored the infamous Berg & Bush territory, curtesy of race owner Farmer Gary Green. There was no holding back as we punched out a solid 4hr ride with a surprise 2km King of the Mnt right at the end. That night we stayed at a rustic, but comfortable Farm house on the shores of the Spionkop Dam.
The guys loved the fact that the number 1 KZN female cyclist, Jeannie Bomford, too wore RMB CAL kit.

With Joberg2c now the focus, it was good prep for my Zulus to stand on the start line with tired legs.
From the gun, there was a 6km climb and there seemed no respite on the gnarly rugged downhills as well. The most testing 50km Mtb race on the Kzn calendar, but also the most scenic too. Admittedly a niche race tucked away in the Berg, but one most worthy of doing. RMB CAL Zulus Sthembiso & Mboneni rode magnificently, standing proudly on the podium in 2nd and 3rd.

Pro-rider Henry Uys & RMB CAL Sthembiso Masango – 1st & 2nd

4th – Ndumiso Ndontso [phenomenal ride – recent addition to Team – 6 months]
6th – Bongumusa
7th – Martin
8th – Jeannie
20th – Vela

John Ntuli and Sizwe Mkhasibe stayed behind in order to pre ride this coming weekend’s Triple Challenge Mtb route. The Triple Challenge consists of a 20km Trail Run/50km Mtb/7km Trail Run. It is the premiere Multisport Race in KZN.
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