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You guys have had a great year. Tell us about that?

NB: We managed to arrange our own sponsor with NAD (New Africa Developments) so that gave us the freedom to choose our own races and race the way we want to and to train how we want to. That has made all the difference this year. We have done numerous road tours for preparation and focussed on training camps to get us to the right form. We also have had ok results in some races and great results in others, so you could say we have been consistent top three at most the big races this year.

GC: Yeah, we have had a great year thus far. We take a lot of time to plan our racing and training in order to race at a high level. We’ve won the Cape Pioneer Trek, Joberg2c, and Isuzu 3 Towers. We were 2nd at The Grindrod Berg and Bush and the Sani2C. We were also 2nd African team at the Cape Epic. Nico and I finished 2nd and 3rd in the Ashburton National Ultra Marathon series respectively. We have been super consistent throughout the year.

Anything different in your approach or training this season compared to the previous?

NB: Training together has helped. Also doing more races for preparation so we know what our form is like leading into the big races.

GC: I had a bit harder build up to the Cape Epic, but other than that I just had later mid-season rest. The last few weeks we’ve also worked a bit more on explosive efforts to help with the shorter more intense races.

You suffered a technical at the Cape Pioneer Trek. What was the cause and how did you recover?

NB: We had a problem with the sealant in our tyres the one day. It must have been a bad batch so it didn't seal even the smallest of holes. We plugged the holes and kept the pressure up every few kilometres until we could change the wheel at the tech zone. We stayed calm and didn't panic just trying to stick with the main group and get back as fast as possible.

GC: We put in fresh sealant from a new bottle on the 3rd day and that was just a bad batch of sealant that didn’t want to work. We ended up having a non-stop slow puncture from just after the first tech zone and had to bomb it and chase back a lot till we could change the bad wheel at the second tech zone. Unfortunately, the front started after that so we just kept on chasing back and back. Luckily it was on one of the easier days and the racing wasn’t flat out all day so we could stay in the lead.

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What was your toughest stage at Cape Pioneer Trek?

NB: Stage 2 from Mossel bay to George. Because of the sealant issue in the first 5 km, we spend the whole day chasing back and then stopping again and chasing back again.

GC: For me, the toughest stage was the first stage when Nico and I rode away to take our fist stage win. It was a long time trial back to town into a headwind and we still felt the effects from racing Rooiberg two days before in our legs.

What are your thoughts on the event in general?

NB: I enjoyed the new race route and the format of the race. The competition was also good and we all respect each other so that makes for positive racing. The solo category needs to be defined more as they often got in the way or paced other teams not lending to fair racing for those who have to wait for their team mates and stay together all the time.

It is a great race to do and not too hard for so late in the year being a 7-day stage race. Coverage was also great for us Pro riders. As an event, it is much easier than the Epic but also has a nice European feel with a little bit of everything in the race.

GC: The route has changed a lot since the last time I raced it in 2014. I really enjoyed it and loved taking on new routes with different challenges. The route was also a bit easier than previous years and that is much nicer this time of year when your body is pretty empty from all the racing and training throughout the year.

The Cape Pioneer Trek was world class. Good food. Great route. Race with the best social media updates to keep everyone up to date as the race unfolds. It should be on your bucket list of events to do.

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What is next for NAD Pro MTB?

NB: Wines2Whales is our next race. It is going to be hard with plenty of strong teams and short punchy stages but we gain great experience from racing, so we looking forward to giving it a shot for the podium.

GC: A bit of rest then we are taking on the FNB Wines2Whales.

You also work together. What is that like and how does it influence your dynamics on and off the bike?

NB: Work is also about getting along, so we help each other off the bike in the shop (Bells Cycling), getting the work done and passing on our knowledge to others.

GC: Yes, Nico owns Bells Cycles, a Specialized Concept store in Nelspruit. I help out there when I’m not training or racing. I do bike setups, sell bikes or work on my own bike. This is great as we both have a good technical understanding of our bikes and can fix it on the go. We also train together 90% of the time, so when we race everything is just second nature. We know our strengths and weaknesses and always help each other to get the best result.

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How do you fit training, work, private and social life into you work schedule?

NB: I try to get my training done in the morning then straight to work until we close round 5-6pm. Then its family time and relaxing at home. On weekends, I have more time in the afternoons to spend with my family, except when I'm away at a stage race then I need to switch my focus to the race for that time, knowing my family is behind me and supports me all the way.

GC: Just plan and get a good routine going.