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Buys, an Olympian, multiple race winner and Cape Epic Stage winner is one of South Africa’s foremost professional mountain bikers and highly regarded both locally and abroad. While his physical performances play a pivotal role for the team, his well-known calm and collected manner has also earned significant respect amongst sponsors who have welcomed the opportunity to be involved with the successful outfit.

With the bikes being a key component to the team, they have been fortunate to find a willing partner in Pyga Mountain Bikes, a South African company based in Howick, KZN and with manufacturing operations in Taiwan. Pyga, globally known for their adventure and trail mountain bikes also offer a high performance bicycle which would be the choice of the team.

Patrick Morewood, Founder and CEO of Pyga Industries Pty (Ltd) commented, "With the PYGA STAGE we set out to build the ultimate stage racing machine for South African conditions and being chosen as the bike of choice by the African MTB team goes a long way, we believe, in proving that we have achieved that. We are incredibly proud to be associated with all the individuals involved in the team who share both our values and dreams of making a difference on the mountain biking landscape in South Africa." Ruan Lochner (Team Principle) endorsed these sentiments, “The PYGA STAGE bicycle brings a new and refreshing change to our “weapon” of choice, our team is known for their XCO skills and for going faster than the rest downhill, the STAGE suits our riding style and with aggressive angles will exploit our strengths. PYGA had some great success with their Enduro bikes and we will also grow into this segment through the year.”

In addition, the team has managed to maintain their good relationships with product sponsors who provide vital equipment, components and products to ensure the smooth running of the team. Lochner confirmed, “It is a privilege to work with people who have invested in us and believe in our dreams. Kalas Sportswear, Liqui Moly, SRAM, Cadence Nutrition, Maxxis Tyres, Nike Vision, Stages Power and Look Pedals will continue their support into the new season. We also welcome a few new partners who will add value through their investment and belief in our development structures, Penetron South Africa, John Burnett Insurance Brokers, SIDI Shoes and Trailwolf Cycles.”

While the wheels of the team will be kept turning through the support of these sponsors, the realities of operating as a professional outfit requires financial support to survive. While the riders risk injury out on the route, the sponsors take equal risks backing the team with the hope of associated return for their investment. This comes through the riders making podiums and being in the top results of the biggest races.

It was with their past record in mind that Colin Wilson, CEO of Euro Steel (Pty) Ltd decided to back the team and expand their support of South African athletes. Wilson commented, “We have enjoyed significant success through the association of our world class canoeists in South Africa and are branching into Mountain Biking for the same reason. We see this team as top performers and an association with them will expand our footprint of supporting both youth and sport in South Africa. Our company identifies with winning, winners and the ethos of winning and this extends into our factory floors where we strive to be the best we can be and produce the best stainless steel and aluminum.”

Team Pyga / Euro Steel will consist of Philip Buys, Matthys Beukes and Kombo Bere. Hanli Cilliers is also welcomed in the development structures. The team will start their racing season at the Euro Steel Drak Descent in January 2017. Their focus for 2017 will mainly be on the marathon discipline, the Cape Epic African Jersey and an overall race podium finish, having finishing 5th overall twice and taking three consecutive African Jerseys. The goal is to win the Cape Epic in the years to come where two South Africans win this iconic race on a South African bike.

For more team information please contact Team Principle Ruan Lochner on 0823591743 or ruan@africanmtbteam.com