Nervously excited. This is how Remofilwe Moeketsi (36), originally from Pampierstad, feels about taking part in the eight-day 619 km Absa Cape Epic that commences on Sunday (17/10).
Moeketsi and her racing partner, Beauty Ngobese from Newcastle, will tackle the route, which includes 15 250 m of vertical ascent on “rugged mountain dual tracks and rocky singletracks through pristine fynbos, on sandy farm roads between manicured orchards and on bone-rattling descents off ancient mountain ranges”, in the Exxaro category.
They have been preparing intensely to conquer what is said to be the globe’s toughest mountain bike race. According to Moeketsi, Ngobese has a lot of passion and is a die-hard.
“I have no doubt it will be awesome,” this former learner of the Kimberley Girls’ High School comments, also saying the opportunity to participate in the Cape Epic is a highlight.
Moeketsi played netball on provincial level for Griqualand for most of her high school years and for Eastern Province during her years of studying Information Systems at the Rhodes University. When she moved to Johannesburg for work in 2007, she transitioned to indoor netball and played for Central Gauteng, eventually representing South Africa in the over 30s category.
As someone who has always been athletic and chosen to stay on the adventurous side of things, Moeketsi was craving something “new and exciting”.
“In 2018 I decided to get a bike, search for a club and set a target of completing the 947 Ride Joburg.
“In 2019, I was invited to join the Nelson Mandela Legacy Ride for Hope tour, which I thoroughly enjoyed. But I found that my joy and thrill comes from when I am off-road; on the gravel road and trails.
“On the tour, I met Owen Botha, who invited me to join the Bestmed Elite Ladies, aiming to develop some of us to race competitively. Unfortunately, Covid-19 happened. The past two years have been marred with some injuries, but those got me even more passionate about mountain biking.”
Moeketsi says she is truly grateful to Cycle2Ride and Stadio for having afforded her the opportunity to take part in the Cape Epic so early her cycling journey.
“It is a wonderful opportunity to inspire anyone who is wondering if they can start cycling at any age and if they can ever get to participate at such events,” she says.
Wynand de Villiers, marketing head of Stadio Distance Learning, believes in this team as they adhere to the principals of strong mental capacity, responsibility and commitment towards a goal.
“When I go home from Johannesburg, Pampierstad is where I go,” Moeketsi says.
Her words of inspiration to the youngsters of this part of the vast Northern Cape is to try to do your best at everything.
“Be disciplined, respect yourself and others, and treat people the way you would want to be treated.
“This, together with preparation, is a recipe for opportunities to present themselves,” Moeketsi concludes.
- Visit the Facebook page Cape Epic for detail on the live broadcast of the event.