Young mountain biker blazes his way to success

2014-12-12 00:00

RIDING his bike around his rural home town of eMambedwini, outside ­Wartburg, Stembiso Masango had no idea that he was trailblazing his way to success.

Now boasting provincial colours for mountain biking, a chance meeting on the dusty roads led Masango (26) to where he is today — a professional mountain biker for Martin Dreyer’s Change a Life team.

Masango worked on a farm as a young boy to pay his school fees and would often ride his road bike around eMambedwini, braving the mountain trails.

“This man, Guy Milestone, saw me riding a road bike on a mountain bike trail wearing soldier’s boots,” he said.

“Some people laughed, but Guy encouraged me and gave me my first mountain bike. I cannot forget that.”

Masango entered his first race in 2010 and met Dreyer at a race in Wartburg last year.

“After the race, I approached him and he told me he had ridden his bike to the start of the race from eMambedwini township,” Dreyer said.

“He was so passionate and he left a lasting impression.”

Dreyer soon asked Masango to join the RMB Change a Life team, the stem of an organisation that seeks and supports talent in rural areas, and Masango happily agreed.

Masango said his own perseverance and guidance, and support from Dreyer and Milestone, were the reasons he had come so far.

Masango was awarded his provincial colours for mountain biking last month and was placed third in the Quattro Roag senior category a week before.

“I was jubilant, I was so happy. I won third place for the senior category award and a week later, I received provincial colours. I was so surprised.”

Masango said he had come from a very poor background but was determined to change his life with the support of Dreyer and his passion for cycling.

“There is no food for lazy men. One day I will build myself a house, and I will come and tell the youth that they can change too if they persevere.”

Masango said he was excited for his future in mountain biking and was already training three hours a day for his next race in January.

“Change a Life did change my life and I thank them and Guy Milestone for what they have done for me.”

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