International pro-cyclists to mentor young Cape Town riders
We’re excited to welcome Dan Craven, Karl Platt and Songezo Jim to the Cape Rouleur this Sunday!
In addition to riding the 5-day cycling tour through the beautiful Cape Winelands, the three athletes will act as mentors to the young riders competing as part of the HotChillee Rider Development Programme 2020.
Through its partnership with The Buffalo Foundation, HotChillee has helped support local cycling academies from across the Western Cape, with members from Kwano, Songezo Jim Cycling Academy, TSA Bonga.Org and Velokhaya either riding or working on the event. The 2020 Development Rider team includes:
Bongani Bokwe Justin Chesterton Tshebeletso Makgonye Julia Marx Anna Marx Sibusiso Motsoti Hlumelo Ngqobongwana Siphathele Sotomela JP Weideman
With the support of the Western Cape Government, two members of this team will be selected to fly to the UK and compete in the HotChillee LONDON-PARIS this July.
Also as part of HotChillee’s programme, 100 local cyclists will ride at the Young Rider Prologue on Sunday, where participants will compete for a place on next year’s programme and the opportunity to take part in HotChillee events in SA and Europe. Craven and Jim will host a Q&A with these young riders, sharing their experience of hailing from Africa and going on to gain success on the international cycling stage.
Songezo Jim:“It’s very important for kids in South Africa to have opportunities like the HotChillee Development Rider Programme. Some of the riders who will ride the prologue will want to become professional cyclists and this is a great platform. HotChillee has a great network and the ability to open doors so this is a very worthwhile avenue for kids who wouldn’t have opportunities otherwise. It makes a huge difference and I’m looking forward to being involved in this programme.
What I love about this initiative is they’re not only pushing the cycling part of it. Education is a big part of it, just like at the Songezo Jim Cycling Academy. We have cycling that we focus on but we have a parallel education program running at the same time, thanks to HotChillee.”
Dan Craven:“I’ve worked with young development cyclists for many years. I come from a different background but I’m African and feel I’m relatable to these riders. Being a mentor and sharing experience is something I relish.
Cycling has this unique place in the world where it brings people from completely different backgrounds together and gives them something in common. It’s not unusual to have a kid from Khayelitsha who a few weeks ago had limited opportunities in life and all of a sudden, they’re riding with the CEO of a multi-national company. That’s the beauty of cycling and initiatives like the HotChillee Development Rider Programme. On a bicycle, everyone is equal and it’s a level playing field. That’s one of the most beautiful things about the sport of cycling. There is no other sport like it.”
Karl Platt:“Since the first time I was involved, it’s been great to see kids getting an opportunity to ride their bikes and see what change HotChillee can bring. Obviously, Nicholas Dlamini is the most famous example of how this programme can play a role in changing someone’s life. With the help of many people, he came from here and ended up in a super big team. It’s great to see him racing all over the world in a great team now.
I’m like an adopted son in South Africa. I’ve been coming here for fifteen years and I have so many friends here. It’s not just great riding, the country is everything. It’s the whole package. I’ve made so many friends and feel at home here. I love the country, I love the people and really want to help develop riders. I’ve been to Bonteheuwel and seen kids there and help give them maybe a small chance, but a chance nonetheless to get onto the right path.
It makes me happy to give something back. If you get a chance to be talented like I am, I think it’s important to share that knowledge. It’s my responsibility to not just look away but help to develop others. That’s why I’m happy to come back to Cape Rouleur and help share my life experiences.”
The HotChillee Cape Rouleur is a 5-day cycling tour of the Western Cape, South Africa, starting in the host town of Franschhoek in the Cape Winelands before riding with rolling road closures to the Cape Town Waterfront.
Stages range between 100 – 150km per day with riders finishing by mid-afternoon, leaving plenty of time for recovery sessions by the pool and fine dining at leisure in the evening.
Riders join one of three fully supported speed groups and ride through some of the most beautiful scenery in South Africa with rolling road closures, motorbike outriders, lead cars, HotChillee Ride Captains, mechanical and medical support.