“Mountain bike stage racing is incredibly demanding and the last thing riders want to do is worry about small things. They really should finish the stage and start their relaxation and recovery for the following day as soon as possible,” said Henco Rademeyer of Dryland Events, the organisers.

“We’re fortunate to be able to offer a variety of rider services either at a reduced fee or for free at the Cape Pioneer Trek. It’s our way of adding value to the riders who have invested a lot of time and commitment in our event. Certain of the rider services have been made possible by the new title sponsorship investment from Bridge, a financial services company.”

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The Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek incorporates a variety of terrain and vegetation during the seven days of racing action. Here 2012 Marathon World Champion, Christoph Sauser and teammate, Max Knox, negotiate some indigenous forest during the 2011 edition.

Photo credit: Nick Muzik

Polar, the world’s leading heart rate monitor brand, created a 12-week training plan earlier this year to assist participants to prepare appropriately for the demanding race, which covers a total distance of 534 kilometers and gains a total elevation of more than 11 000 metres.

Taking into account that the majority of the participants aren’t professional racers, the 12-week plan peaked at a maximum of 12 hours of total riding in a week, making it realistic and achievable. During the 2012 event, Polar will also have a support station for riders to download their race data after each stage and get technical support, advice and, if necessary, spares.

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Rider nourishment is a high priority at the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek mountain bike stage race, with three fresh meals available daily for participants.

Photo credit: Nick Muzik

Also on offer for participants is a mechanical support package from Cycle Tech Zone, which, for a race-negotiated pre-paid fee, secures them the kind of mechanical support usually associated with professional racing teams. As they complete each stage, the participants simply hand their bike over to the Cycle Tech Zone staff that carry out any necessary repairs and do a thorough clean and lubrication.

In addition to those on the maintenance package, the Cycle Tech Zone staff will be able to deal with minor and major mechanical repairs for all participants in the event. All riders will also get free bike wash and lubrication after each stage from Powasol.

Another rider benefit is the sports massage and physiotherapy service. Operated on a pre-paid or walk-in system, the service offers a daily 45-minute sports massage and free physiotherapy consultation courtesy of KT Tape.

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Participants at the 2012 Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek mountain bike stage race can look forward to a premium standard of rider care during, before and after each stage.

Photo credit: Nick Muzik

Each rider will be issued with a Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek cycling jersey, sponsored by the title sponsors, Bridge. The jersey is made by LeTour Sports Wear, the company that also supplies the category leader jerseys.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be served daily to all participants, courtesy of sponsors, Scooters and Maxis, while other food and drink sponsors are Klein Karoo International (ostrich and venison meat), Wilde (pressed fruit juice), Gu (energy supplements) and Castle Light (beer).

Other product sponsors making the riders’ lives easier during the 2012 Cape Pioneer Trek are Sludge (tyre sealant), Continental (tubes and tyres) and Nomadik (tents and canopies).

“Thank you so much for a fantastic week of riding and fun. We suffered every day and many times wondered if we were going to be able to finish in Oudtshoorn. Fortunately at the end of every tough day, we were rejuvenated by the vibe, the food, the drinks and the spirit that was laid on by your team. There are many stage races that can take a leaf out of your book when it comes to looking after your riders. It was 10/10 and we will be back next year for sure,” wrote three-time Cape Pioneer Trek finisher, Brigitte de Waal to the organisers after the 2011 edition.

There are limited entry places remaining for this year’s race, which is open to two-rider teams and individuals. For more information on the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek, visit www.capepioneer.co.za