Biker fails but not daunted

2015-12-10 06:00
   Bongani Ngqobane from Khayelitsha.  PHOTO: Erik Vermeulen / AdventurePhotos

Bongani Ngqobane from Khayelitsha. PHOTO: Erik Vermeulen / AdventurePhotos

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Khayelitsha cyclist’s hopes of finishing a 1000 km non-stop race were painfully dashed by injury with only 200km to beat.

Taking part in one of toughest road races , the Munga mountain bike race, Bongani Ngqobane was forced out by a torn ligament.

“I was going strong and pushing hard until when my leg starting swelling. It was apinful but I am really fine now,” he said when City Vision met him yesterday.

Race organiser Alex Harris said he was convinced that this non-stop race of 1000km with a million dollars in prize money will grow up in leaps and bounds.

“This is still my vision, and so I will continue to work towards this end. In the mean time, the Munga race will stick with the format that attracted so many of the competitors. A format that allows the rider, to decide when you eat, and when you sleep, and for how long. You manage your time for five days as you race to make the cut off, and you discover that you had it in you all along; that you were right; that the faintest of suspicions you might be tough enough was proven correct,” he said.

Harris said the greatest journeys on can ever take are those where one find out just what they’re made of.

“The Munga is one of those journeys. So we hope to see more riders in the future,” he siad.

There are five rest stations along the race route, spaced roughly 200km apart from the start. At each of these stations riders were be able to eat and sleep.

This is an unsupported race so no rider was allowed to have support from outside in any physical form.

“Riders had access to a mechanical station in each of the five stops,” he said.

Ngqobane said he was keen to cross the line in a respectable as there were lucrative prizes to be won.

The first three riders in three categories to cross the finish line split R 150 000.

Ngoqbane said it was great mingling with top riders like Bart Brentjens a 2-time Olympic medallist (gold and bronze), an UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Champion, a Dutch National Champion title holder, a Cape Epic winner and runner up, as well as a Cape Epic Masters winner 2 years in a row. He teamed up with Jeroen Boelen who is a 2 x Olympias stage winner from the Netherlands and is known to be a strong sprinter.

There were other bignames like Corry Wallace is a Canadian marathon rider who has placed 1st in the Mongolia Bike challenge twice, has competed in the Trans Rockies time and again, having won the race in 2009 and stage 3 in 2013 and most recently placed 1st in the Canadian National Marathon Championships.

“It was great seeing these guys in action and I hope next year I will be counted amongst them,” he chuckled.

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