RMB Change a Life Academy stars dig deep to conquer the Munga

2016-12-20 06:01
 Photo: supplied RMB Change a Life Academy's Sthembiso Masango showed his incredible endurance skills when he completed the gruelling 1000km Munga in sixth place overall and first development rider.

Photo: supplied RMB Change a Life Academy's Sthembiso Masango showed his incredible endurance skills when he completed the gruelling 1000km Munga in sixth place overall and first development rider.

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

THE Martin Dreyer RMB Change a Life MTB Academy pair of Sthembiso Masango and Mazwi Smimango stepped into the unknown at the recent 2016 Munga, however the pair rode beyond themselves in the face of adversity to finish first and third in the development category at the gruelling non-stop mountain bike race.

With over 1000km between the start in Bloemfontein and the finish in Wellington, riders charge on through the day and night non-stop, resting when they want to while passing through a number of compulsory checkpoints during their journey to the Western Cape.

Following in former Academy veteran John Ntuli’s footsteps, who won the overall title in 2015, the Change a Life duo’s effort saw the Valley of Thousand Hills setup’s flag continue to fly high this year.

“When they asked John for advice, he basically just told them that their backsides would get very sore!” quipped Change a Life Academy founder Martin Dreyer.

“It was an incredible effort from the guys and awesome for them to be rewarded with a podium finish.

“The race is more like an adventure challenge than a mountain biking race, with the guys using the 36ONE MTB Challenge earlier in the year to give them some sort of an idea on how to go about it.”

The race’s non-stop, rest when you want approach made it difficult for the Change a Life pair to pace their race and Masango went out the hardest, finding himself in the lead at night fall on the first day.

However a mechanical, that would plague him throughout the race, meant that he hit a rough patch mentally at that point.

“Sthembiso was flying and at about 180km into the race his back wheel buckled. This meant that he had to limp his way into the first race village in Britstown.

“Losing three hours on the leaders, he was ready to call it a day. We chatted, where I told him everyone goes through tough times in a big race like this and it’s how you deal with it that counts. You cannot give up. Adversity is the breakfast of Champions!”

“After a good rest, a switch flicked in his head and he was off, riding like there was no tomorrow, making his way up the rankings!

“He had another issue with his back tyre coming into the fourth race village in Sutherland around the 700km mark, fortunately here they managed to fix it properly.

“From there he didn’t look back and powered to fifth over the line but was given a thirty minute penalty for not signing in at the race village in Loxton, but that luckily didn’t change the results,” Dreyer added.

This meant that Masango would take the development prize with team mate Smimango taking third place in that same category.

“Mazwi went through similar mental challenges as Sthembiso; he wanted to call it quits too when he wasn’t feeling great with diarrhoea issues at the second race village. I told him to take as much time as he needed to recover.

“After sleeping for six hours he was back on his bike and powered home to third in his division,” a proud Dreyer added.

With incredibly adverse conditions to deal with as well as the unknown physical fatigue, Dreyer praised the mental strength of the pair to not only get through the race but feature so prominently as well.

“The guys showed phenomenal tenacity in the face of hardship to get through such a difficult race where riders battled with tough head winds, extreme heat as well as nose bleeds.

“We need to do a post-race analysis and look at where mistakes were made and what we can improve upon. But right now, the RMB CAL Zulus are resting with their feet up and the biggest grins of satisfaction on their faces, knowing the hardest race of their lives is thankfully over, until next year that is,” Dreyer added.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Partner Content
How data is changing investments

Technological disruption is rife in many spheres of business and given the quantity of data available, it’s no surprise that the way in which asset managers work is also changing fast.

Behind the sparkle

Alluring, beautiful and timeless - diamonds are some of the most sought after gems in the world and are a true testament of everlasting brilliance. Let us take you behind the sparkle to show you the history behind this coveted jewel.


How to get rid of fleas

Before you call in the pricey exterminators, try this DIY approach that promises to get your flea problem under control.



12 Cool cat facts
Chocolate can be fatal for dogs
Spider-man star's adorable relationship with his dog
Do you know what you are feeding your dog?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.