Cape Town - Back in 2007; when Jaco Venter and
Jacques Janse van Rensburg were just 19, they completed the Absa Cape
The 2007 race was not their only
encounter with The Race That Measures All as both riders returned to the trails
in the following years.
In 2020 they return to mountain biking after careers on
the road, which took in a combined 13 Grand Tours, for Team Dimension
To return to mountain biking, Venter
and Janse van Rensburg have set up a new team, First Move Sport. The team aims
to provide a platform from which riders can race the South African mountain
biking season, as well as selected events on the road. Their first big goal for
2020 is the Cape Epic.
"Returning to the race is very
special for us because we rode the Cape Epic together years ago when we
were 19-years-old," Janse van Rensburg highlighted.
after all we've done since then is quite cool. We've raced all over the world
in the biggest road races out there, so to be on the start line at a race in
South Africa at a race of this magnitude, on mountain bikes, will be something
new for us!”
"We have both raced the Cape Epic before and it's definitely a special race to do," concurred
"It has grown a lot since 2007, but so have we. I am really
looking forward to racing it again after all these years, the route looks tough,
but we'll be ready for it.”
A sign of the growth in the profile
of the Cape Epic in recent years is the fact that Venter and Janse van
Rensburg will be joined on the start line by two current WorldTour riders.
"March is always a busy period on the road side, and a few riders have
shown that if you plan your schedule, it's possible to mix the disciplines. But
my race season never gave me the option to race the Cape Epic," Venter
"But it shows that the Cape Epic has become valuable to the
professional road teams if they are willing to make riders available for these
events. Lachlan (Morton of EF Education First) was a team-mate of ours on Team
Dimension Data in 2018, so it will be good to catch up with him and his
partner, Alex Howes, after a few brutal stages.”
First Move Sport will continue the
relationship with Qhubeka, the social development charity which changes lives
through providing bicycles to get to school or work. Venter and Janse van
Rensburg raced for MTN Qhubeka, which became Team Dimension Data, which raised
money for Qhubeka throughout their WorldTour careers.
Continuing that relationship was an
important part of setting up the new team.
"We have been with Qhubeka for
most of our careers and really believe in the lives Qhubeka is changing,"
Janse van Rensburg said.
"There was no question in representing the
charity after leaving Team Dimension Data, it has become part of who we are and
what we represent."
"The bike handovers, seeing the smiles on the
faces of the kids when you hand them their brand-new bike, are always really
special" Venter added.
"To be part of the process that changes
someone's life, that stays with you and drives you to do more."