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Avis will deliver the nine-day Old Mutual joBerg2c mountain bike race to viewers daily from April 27 to May 5 on DStv’s SuperSport 6 channel. Photo: Kelvin Trautman

Armchair cyclists can look forward to following the third edition of the nine-day Old Mutual joBerg2c across rural South Africa from the comfort of their living rooms, organisers announced.

Spokesman Craig Wapnick said mountain biking was currently enjoying increased television time due to its status as the fastest growing sport in the world. “The country’s longest paired stage race will now add to these ratings with daily broadcasts.”

He said viewers would be able to follow the entire 910-kilometre event between Heidelberg in Gauteng and Scottburgh on the KwaZulu-Natal coast from April 27 to May 5.

“We believe we’ve created a race that showcases the very best of what the country has to offer. The broadcast will extend its reach to show viewers places and faces they’ve never seen.”

Wapnick said the coverage would also provide good exposure for the country’s top teams and event partners.

The race’s commercial transport sponsor Avis Van Rental has extended its investment in the event by delivering the broadcasts to the viewing public.

General manager Leon Fourie said the dual sponsorship would help maximise the company’s brand awareness and return on investment.

“The Old Mutual joBerg2c is by nature a great test of endurance and character. It ties in perfectly with our brand, as we believe our products and service also stand the test.”

He said the 33 Avis Van Rental branches provided an effective countrywide service, offering flexible 4x4, bakkie and truck rental solutions. “We will try harder for you wherever you are.”

Wapnick said the riders would cross usually inaccessible landscapes en route, including a plethora of private farms across the Free State, the majestic Drakensberg Mountains as well as the spectacular Umkomaas River Valley before arriving on the south coast on May 5.

“TV will show parts that supporters are unable to reach. Generally speaking, the better the route, the harder it is to access.”

Wapnick said the daily inserts would capture all aspects of the event. “We’ve divided our TV time into the route, the race and the ride.”

He said each 13-minute episode would be narrated by well-known cycling commentators Gerald de Kock and Doug Bird and each insert would be broadcast on DStv’s SuperSport 6 channel at 9pm.

“Internet Solutions’ state-of-the-art mobile VSAT unit will ensure daily coverage gets to SuperSport on time.”

Although the race production, by Big Shot Media, does not currently have overseas syndication, Wapnick said it remained a possibility as organisers planned to introduce the event to an international audience.

“In the meantime, both our local and international followers will be able to view the additional daily highlights package on YouTube.”

For more information, visit www.oldmutual.co.za or www.joberg2c.co.za. Alternatively, find the race on Facebook or Twitter.