Former Proteas cricketer Gary Kirsten will have a new view of familiar turf when he takes part in the TransCape mountain bike race next year.
Starting in Knysna, the annual seven-day event presented by ASG Events will take riders on a 614km journey through some of the most iconic trails in South Africa, finishing in Franschhoek on February 10.
Western Cape-born and bred, the 49-year-old Kirsten, who played 101 tests for SA, said he knew the region extremely well, but was excited about seeing the terrain from his bike rather than behind the wheel of a car.
Kirsten’s interest in cycling was piqued when he joined a friend in the Wines2Whales mountain bike race in 2013 and he has since become enthusiastic about the sport.
“The appeal for me is to ride mountain trails, which I do regularly during the week, but mostly on my own. I also like to constantly challenge myself.”
He added that doing multi-stage races was high on his bucket list and he looked forward to adding the TransCape to his resume.
While he was a relatively experienced mountain biker, Kirsten said he still faced a number of challenges.
“One of them is getting mechanicals, which I am not very good at sorting out. Focusing on my nutrition is another,” he said.
Kirsten will join other high profile sportsmen such as ex-Springboks captain John Smit and rugby flyhalf Joel Stransky who have taken up cycling. Smit is also riding the TransCape next year.