Johannesburg-based infrastructure group theofficeguru.co.za are backing tomorrow’s champions through their support of one of South Africa’s top semi-professional cycling teams.
After starting out as a junior squad three seasons ago, officeguru racing have developed into a fully-fledged U23 team as their riders have come of age.
Talented youngsters Travis Barrett, Alex Worsdale, Alwyn Steenkamp, Brendan Havenga and Ryan Harris form the core of the team, with former pro Dylan Girdlestone recently joining the outfit as a rider and mentor.
The former Jock Classic champion – who has raced for teams such as MTN-Qhubeka, Bonitas and Drapac in Australia – was forced to take some time out from racing after a bad crash three years ago left him with a fractured hip.
Although Girdlestone has shown good form since his return to competitive racing, his main objective is to use his experience to nurture his teammates and to help develop them from a racing perspective.
Jamie Taylor, MD of theofficeguru.co.za, explained that the riders were mostly in the developmental phase of their cycling careers. Some, he said, had just left school while others were at varsity.
“Alex [Worsdale] and Travis [Barrett] are studying full-time at the University of Pretoria while Alwyn [Steenkamp] is studying part-time. Brendan [Havenga] is in matric at Jeppe High School.”
Harris, who is racing for a Spanish club in Europe until he returns for the final part of the South African season, is studying at the “school of life”.
Taylor said former pro Nic White, who has been involved with the RoadCover project and instrumental in the development of several riders now competing in ProTour teams, had a hand in the establishment of the junior officeguru team in 2016.
The management team – consisting of White, Megan Barrett, Martin van Wyk and Tanya van Wyk – along with sponsors and partners provide a stable and professional platform that enables riders to concentrate on their racing.
The junior officeguru team, who are being groomed as the next batch of professionals, have also been working extensively with the VWE Track Academy this year.
“Our objective is to create an environment for young riders to compete at the highest level of road racing in the country,” said Taylor.
“Through a dedicated programme, we allow them to be part of a stable team environment in which they can learn the trade and grow to become the best athletes they can be.
“As a former competitive cyclist, I understand the need for structures to assist young athletes to realise their potential and through our officeguru racing brand we are able to make this happen.
“There is some fantastic talent in this country and it is our duty to help influence their futures.”
The officeguru racing team are fuelled by Biogen, driven by Bidvest Car Hire and Insured by Hollard, allowing them to travel to and race the best road events in the country.