A South African multi-discipline cycling team, Valley Electrical-Titan Racing, has been launched to participate in the 2019 season, manager Rossouw Bekker announced today.
The team will comprise four riders from different corners of the country – Bekker, 19, and Jamie Penfold, 17, both from the Western Cape, Tiffany Keep, 18, from KwaZulu-Natal and Marc Fourie, 22, from the Free State.
Bekker will serve as both rider and manager, said while the team aimed to reinforce the intrinsic value of the Titan brand they were also looking to add a performance element, which was how the outfit emerged.
The Stellenbosch local said he had always had “this dream and ambition to start a team”.
With the supply of their equipment already in place, Bekker said he had been looking for a corporate sponsor since last year May.
“It was quite a long and hard search to find a sponsor,” Bekker told In the Bunch today.
“Gareth [Wright], the marketing manager from Titan Racing, and I put a lot of work into proposals, but many doors were closed.”
Only towards the end of the year they managed to secure their title sponsor, he added.
“Matthew Miller, owner of Valley Electrical Contractors, bought into our ideas and was willing to help get us to the races and assist with our entries and accommodation.
“This team will definitely be a first in the SA scene and something that can grow into bigger and better things.”
Bekker and Fourie will focus mainly on marathon and three or four-day mountain-bike stage races.
“The team’s role will be to try and support them on the local scene to help get them to the world champs and racing in Europe.”
He added that they would be taking part in most of the SA MTB Cup Series XCO events this year.
All members of the team will also take part in the Cape Town Cycle Tour in March.
They will make their debut at the first SA MTB Cup Series XCO event in Bloemendal, Bellville, in the Western Cape this weekend.
Bekker said he and the sponsors aimed to adopt long-term goals for the outfit.
“I don’t want it to be a one-year, once-off thing. Both partners involved are keen and in it for the long run.
“I hope this will be the start of something big. I’m hoping we can grow to become one of the country’s top mountain-bike teams.
“I do feel like we have the talent for it.”