Team Spur hosted a picturesque sunset launch event on Thursday, 4 February in Sea Point, Cape Town. It was an opportunity to celebrate the team and reflect on a fine first month representing headline sponsors Spur Steak Ranches and equipment sponsors Specialized Bicycles.
The event was about as far removed from the dust, mud and tears of high-performance mountain bike racing as one could get. Team Spur riders Ariane Kleinhans and James Reid cut impressive silhouettes in fitted shirts as seagulls wheeled against a blood red sun. Our pro riders were joined by support staff, sponsors, media, family and friends, as well as local and international cycling stars Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, Jaco Venter, Christoph Sauser and Sam Gaze.
CEO of Spur Corporation, Pierre van Tonder welcomed Team Spur to its sponsorship portfolio while Spur’s Market Development Manager, Andrew Cronje revealed the proud history and impressive growth of the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League under the. In 2016 Team Spur will act as ambassadors for the Schools League and support its events. The League now boasts 10,500 entrants from over 400 schools across South Africa and neighbouring countries. In 2015 scholars competed in 48 events around the country – a huge achievement in just six years of the League’s existence.
Specialized Bicycles Africa Market Leader, Bobby Behan heaped praise on the pioneering Schools League, outlining the impact this grassroots cycling development program will have on future generations, as well as its position as a globally revered model for youth participation in cycling.
Team Spur Manager, Nic Lamond explained the team’s top racing priorities for the year: Ariane wants to add a third Cape Epic women’s title to her palmares and James is gunning for Olympic selection.
The stars of the show, Ariane and James wrapped up proceedings with an entertaining panel interview, hosted by RSAWEB Director, Rob Gilmour. It was immediately clear that while their priorities for the year differ they share a strong bond, an analytical approach to training and racing and a genuine enthusiasm for having an impact on the lives of budding young mountain bikers through the Schools League.