fast little loans
Cape Town – Christoph Sauser may get a bigger cheer during the Absa Cape Epic than he did in Kayamandi on Wednesday night, but it won’t be by much. He won the “Unofficial World Cup”, a cross-country race through this township at the entrance to Stellenbosch, and was mobbed by a few hundred kids, shrieking, screaming and tripping over themselves to get to him, their home-town hero.
The Swiss Sauser has been a part-time Stellenbosch resident since 1997, and Wednesday he brought world-class mountain bike racing to the city before the Absa Cape Epic will visit here next week Saturday.
Sauser had enticed many of the top international and South African riders racing in the Epic to take part in the Kayamandi “Unofficial World Cup”. The Olympic gold medallist and world champion, Jaroslav Kulhavy, who will be his partner in the Epic, was there, as well as Florian Vogel, Alban Lakata, Marco Fontana, Manuel Fumic, Max Knox, Kohei Yamamoto, Phil Buys, Darren Lill, Charles Keey, James Reid, Erik Kleinhans, Nic Lamond and Oli Munnik.
It was 45 minutes of world-class racing around a track that began on the field below the new songo.info clubhouse, watched by just over a thousand Kayamandi locals. The clubhouse was officially opened on Wednesday night by Sauser and Songo Fipaza, who drives the project aimed at developing a sustainable sports development programme and community upliftment. The course ran up the hill, around the BMX track that was the first thing built by the project, before winding its way through the roads and back alleys of the township.
“When you start riding a bike, do you think you are going to become a world champion?” said Sauser. “It is growing, but healthy growth. In the last three years there has been a good momentum with the development of the project. This clubhouse means the kids have a safe haven now. They can come and study here, have internet, have a gym, have a shower. It’s also a place that we can keep the bikes instead of locking them up at the police station all the time. We have to upgrade the security. Just before the inside was finished with painting, there was a break-in here and they almost burnt it down. Luckily the police came quickly and the fire rescue. An event like this makes the community aware of what we are doing. Also, the police have become involved.”
Each of the next steps for songo.info has been well planned, and awareness is gained from the riders of Team Specialized. The American bike manufacturer will have two teams at the Absa Cape Epic, and on the back of the jerseys of all of the Team Specialized riders, between the shoulder blades, will be the name “Burry”, a reminder of the late Burry Stander who had won two Epics with Sauser while riding with songo.info across their chests. The teams will be named Burry Stander-Songo 1 and Burry Stander-Songo 2. Perhaps in years to come all those who raced on Wednesday night may come back to Kayamandi for an official leg of the UCI’s World Cup.
“Why not? That would be incredible,” said Sauser. “You never stop dreaming. Last year we did this race on Freedom Day, which was the first Test and it was a success. Today we had another great event, and we had so many kids watching, and that’s the most important thing. As long as there are kids from the townships seeing what we are doing with cycling and I’m sure they are inspired a lot. Having all the world champions, and Olympic medallists here, that means a lot to me and to all of the cycling community.” – The Star