This invitational only mountain bike race through the streets of the Stellenbosch township is a unique experience and only 50 riders will be on the start line for the official race that follows the Tour d’Kayamandi route. Kayamandi is the home ground of the songo.info charity and the race is held to race funds and awareness for this foundation.
songo.info is a powerful collaboration of Christoph Sauser, world champion mountain biker and Songo Fipaza, a well recognised local community leader. The mission of songo.info is to run a consistent and sustainable sports development program providing children with opportunities to participate in recreational and competitive sporting activities while contributing to the social upliftment of the community.
For Sauser it was important to bring racing to the community of Kayamandi. “The parents of our songo-kids could see them racing in the middle of an international field. They were so proud! And they could finally see what cycling is all about. For us not living in Kayamandi it was a totally new experience racing in an informal settlement.”
Sauser has no doubt that the Champions Race has served its purpose. “Everybody goes home with so much emotions. It is one of the most special races of the year. With this race we bring a lot of the Stellenbosch locals into a neighborhood they never have been and I am sure they enjoyed it. The racing is also super exciting to watch.”
The atmosphere during the race is one of the draw cards for the event. Sauser who has won the first two gets very emotional when he talks about it. “The atmosphere is super special. Already the view is stunning with the mountains in the background lighted red in the sunlight. The spectators are crazy and us racers are cheered for on every lap like it is the World Championships.”
This year there will also be a kids and women’s race. All three races will have a total prize purse of R24 000. Aramex has come on board this year as headline sponsor. Aramex is a leading global provider of comprehensive logistics and transportation solutions.
“We support songo.info as we believe that investing in our children will produce the highest returns. We encourage the local community to come and support the event as it provides a unique opportunity to rub shoulders with arguably the best mountainbike riders in the world,” said Andre Cronje, Aramex branch manager in Stellenbosch.
“We have many clients and employees that are passionate about cycling and we can’t think of a better match for our brand than the Champions Race and the songo.info emphasis on healthy living, cycling and education.” According to Cronje Aramex are going to support songo.info on a continuous basis. “I believe that we can inspire the business community of Stellenbosch to get involved and change the destiny of many of the kids living in Kayamandi.”
For Songo this race is one of the highlights of the year. “The Champions Race is special and unique. Not only because it is the only race in the country were the best riders in the world race their hearts out in the streets of Kayamandi. It is also the only time that you get the community of Stellenbosch out in Kayamandi uniting. We are looking forward to host everyone – riders and spectators – in our lovely community. And show the spirit of Ubuntu to everyone.”