Off they go again… and you might have seen glimpses of them at the 2018 Nedbank Desert Dash as part of the ‘Gondwana Masters’ team. It is Piet Swiegers from Namibia and Corrie Muller from South Africa, and this time around they are taking on the ABSA Cape Epic as ‘Team Gondwana’ on 17 to 24 March 2019 and Gondwana Collection Namibia is delighted to sponsor them.
Who is this dream team?
Most certainly they are passionate about cycling and have been on this rollercoaster for a while now. But if you have not heard of them before here is what you need to know about ‘Team Gondwana’:
Spends most of his time where the Namib sand gorgeously fuse with the pro-Namib Granitic mountains, in Aus. He is the Klein-Aus Vista Lodge co-owner and simultaneously Gondwana Collection Namibia’s marketing partner. His sister and brother in law got him into cycling and he is currently one of Namibia’s top cyclists. He attained 6th position overall two weeks ago at the National MTB Marathon Championship. He has completed the Cape Epic once in 2016 and was in the 62nd position overall and 8th position in the master category. Consequently, he also established the annual Klein-Aus Vista Mountain Bike Challenge.
Sounds of Nina Simone or Daddy Cool are what keeps him going as he cycles, and was once seriously humiliated during a race last year, on 17 March when he suddenly hit the front brakes of the bicycle, which caused him to glide downhill at 50km/h and unfortunately broke his collar bone. – It is something worth recalling as this year he turns 50 on that same day, 17 March. The best thing about cycling for him is being fully immersed by the wonderful surrounds of Aus Mountains, right where he spends most of his time.
Mostly spends his time in the university town Stellenbosch, surrounded by backdrops of the Cape Winelands and the mountainous nature reserves of Simonsberg and Jonkershoek. He is a Dentist and has been cycling since 1999 when his friend Herman Kriel thought he might enjoy mountain biking, which he thoroughly now delights in. He is well known in South Africa in the MTB society as he has constructed a world class cross country MTB track in Stellenbosch and has completed the Cape Epic nine times with three podium positions within his age category.
He enjoys the soothing sounds of Bob Dylan as he cycles and what keeps him going when draped with fatigue, he recalls his son when he battled leukaemia. He was once mortified, when he went shopping dressed in his Lycra spandex but it was definitely not as cool as he was not on a bicycle and others kept starring – so rather cooler when cycling. For this ABSA Cape Epic, he looks forward to creating unforgettable memories with Piet.
Preparing for the Cape Epic?
Piet set aside many hours of cycling and is prepared to ride with a quality cyclists like Corrie. And with the assistance of Nico Pfitzenmaier he has been on a training plan since September 2018, while preparing for the 2018 Nedbank Desert Dash, which includes 11 to 12 hours of cycling per week. Meanwhile, Corrie, commits a lot of time to cycling and additionally shedding some weight as part of his preparation for the Cape Epic. As the race drew closer, about three weeks ago this dream team also met in the Western Cape and trained together for four days on the Cape Epic trails to ensure they familiarise themselves with this unique route.
What makes cycling so extraordinary?
Cycling is special to Piet as it is a form of soul therapy fittingly coupled with captivating sights of nature. Whilst for Corrie, it is a way of life as it helps him to delve into the true meaning of life, in addition it is a great way to look after one’s health too.
So, cycling is fun, good for the health and soothes the soul just right.
All the best to this dream team and we are rooting for you Team Gondwana!
Author: Nela Shikemeni