Image credit: Karin Schermbrucker/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Says 4-times Absa Cape Epic winner, Christoph Sauser: “Meerendal Wine Estate will be very visible on our new jerseys, but they’re so much more than just a sponsor. The wine estate and its owner, Herman Coertze, love what we stand for. Together we aim to use our strengths and leverage to take both parties to a new level of excellence.”

Adds Meerendal Wine Estate owner, Herman Coertze: “Meerendal Wine Estate is proud to be the home of various sports bodies and has been involved with the Absa Cape Epic for the past 3 years. The sponsorship of and Christoph Sauser is merely a confirmation of our current approach towards sport and mountain biking in particular. Christoph did groundbreaking work to create a charity that improves the lives of young children through their involvement in sport - mountain biking in this case. We endorse his vision and with our sponsorship we hope to continue and accelerate the process that he started. Our sponsorship is a 3-year commitment towards and Christoph, until the end of 2016.” Coertze is a keen mountain biker as well. “More keen than I’d like to admit. In fact, I never thought that riding the Absa Cape Epic would be so much fun.”

Apart from a substantial cash sponsorship, the partnership will also involve various events. Sauser continues: “An example would be the The Final Showdown, which will be presented a day after the Absa Cape Epic finish (31 March 2014), hosted by Dan Nicholl in order to raise funds for”

Sauser started with Fipaza in 2008 to uplift Kayamandi, the community where Fipaza has lived for numerous years and has been working tirelessly to bring about change in the community. Sauser immediately recognised the opportunity to connect his global network to the man who was working so hard to help make children’s dreams possible. He adds: “We strive to improve the lives of children living in townships by providing them a safe place to play, grow and develop.”

Sauser has been riding for since 2008. “Riding for is the easy part. Being so deeply involved takes a lot of my time, but it’s something I really enjoy and it’s also great to give back. It’s good to get out of your comfort zone for a good cause!” Sauser feels that the kids look up to him. “They’d also like to become pro riders and win the Absa Cape Epic. It’s so important to have goals in life!”

Sauser is intensely involved with some of the riders’ training programmes. “For example Sipho Madolo. I plan his training programme and when I’m in Stellenbosch, he trains with us almost every day. We recently also hired a BMX coach, who comes to Kayamandi twice a week to coach the kids. He adds so much professionalism and fun to their training!”