For Team Land Rover Riders Letshego Zulu and Maurice Mdlolo (Team Sleek and Rugged Rovers) training for the Absa Cape Epic is not just about the hours on the saddle, it’s so much more.
According to Letshego Zulu, founder of PopUp Gym and race finisher of the Absa Cape Epic in 2013, “a lot of people don’t realise that preparation for the Epic requires full body conditioning. Training on a mountain bike is imperative of course, but so are other forms of training that build full physical strength and endurance.”
“You need to add running, swimming, and unquestionably, fast walking. Some trail running is also beneficial, because as we have come to experience, the Epic isn’t all rideable. The hours on the saddle matter the most but entrants also need to include functional and core strength training coupled with upper body strength exercise, because those eight days on the Epic will test you to the limit,” says Zulu.
Letshego’s riding partner in this year’s event is businessman and property investment specialist, Maurice Mdlolo. When asked if he applies any of his well-honed business principles to his training and mind set during the challenge, he says, “Skill is very much part of mountain biking. Fitness is a given, but without applying skill, one’s performance may not be at its best. The same applies to business, one needs to have the skill to work through challenges, steam ahead and continue to run the business,” he concludes.
Mdlolo and Zulu will participate in the Mixed Category in this year’s Absa Cape Epic and are the only Land Rover mixed team. When asked about each other’s role in the crew, Maurice quips: “She is the fitness junkie – and I am just there to hang on to her jersey. She will be dragging me uphill. As for the downhills, I’m okay, I can definitely cope with those. Our team name is Sleek and Rugged, I’m sure you can see who’s the slick one.”
Tina Pienaar-Smith, Sponsorship Manager, Jaguar Land Rover South Africa and Sub-Sahara Africa, said:
“The six Land Rover teams who have entered the 2018 Absa Cape Epic clearly demonstrate that they have an unstoppable spirit to compete. Each team member has shown determination and strength in preparation for the world’s biggest mountain bike race.”