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Team Bonitas adds depth for 2012


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The addition of Herman Fouche and Ian McLeod has bolstered the depth of Team Bonitas professional road cycling team for 2012, a year that will see the top South African outfit continue to grow its international racing footprint with an expanded European programme.


Fouche is one of South Africa’s best sprinters and he’ll form a formidable combination with the team’s existing sprinter, Tyler Day, winner of the 2011 Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour, South Africa’s most popular road race.


“Having Herman on the team gives us more options in sprints. We only really had Tyler for the sprints in 2011, but when he was out injured for some time, we had no back-up. And since most South African races are short and finish in sprints, it made sense to sign another fast man,” said team owner, Malcolm Lange, whose retirement from racing in March 2011 undoubtedly compromised the team’s sprinting capacity.


McLeod, a professional racer since 2001, brings experience to the team and will take a strong leadership role. McLeod won the South African road race title in 2008 and the African road race title in 2009. He spent three years with French-based ProTour team, Francaise des Jeux (2005-2007) and is one of a handful of South Africans so have completed a Grand Tour.


“Ian is a good tactician and is highly respected by the younger riders. His experience and strength as a rider will definitely be a big advantage and add some depth; and he also has the old-school professional rider discipline, which will hopefully rub off on the younger riders,” smiled Lange.


The third and final newcomer to the 11-rider strong UCI Continental level team is rising Under-23 star, HB Kruger, a strong allrounder hungry for opportunities to grow. He’ll have excellent mentors in McLeod and current South African road champion and 2011 Tour de Boland winner, Darren Lill and also 2011 Tour of South Africa runner-up and Tour de Free State winner, Johann Rabie.


“HB has a mountain biking background which means he’s physically and mentally tough, the kind of guy that can close gaps and ride a strong sprint lead-out. He’s going to fit in really well I think,” said Lange.


Lange has also bolstered the management of the team by signing Barry Austin as a second manager. With the team racing a total of three months in Europe, Austin’s experience will count strongly in favour of Team Bonitas.


“For Team Bonitas, racing in Europe will be a bit like a small fish swimming in a big pond. But with Barry’s contacts and international experience, the riders will be in a position of greater confidence, which is important for success,” said Lange.


As far as other riders retained from 2011 are concerned, Waylon Woolcock and Neil MacDonald will provide excellent stability as domestiques, each possessing the ability to win when an opportunity presents itself. They’ll also be racing mountain bikes for sister squad, Team RE:CM, but their experience and strength in the Bonitas road team is invaluable.


Hanco Kachelhoffer, a confirmed allrounder, will play a strong back-up role to both the sprinters and the climbers when necessary. The shrewd opportunist is always a threat to rival teams. Jason Bakke and Luthando Kaka complete the rider line-up for 2012. Bakke has proved to be a strong climber and the team’s European racing programme will give him more opportunities to explore this strength. You won’t find a more dedicated domestique than Kaka, South Africa’s leading black road racer, who is developing into a influential mentor for a new generation of young riders.


Key goals for the team on the 2012 South African calendar include the national championships, Tour de Free State and the Lowveld Tour as well as the usual high profile, popular one-day races such Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour, Durban Amashova and Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge. Team Bonitas will race in Europe for a total of three months, split into two trips, one in March and April and the other in June and July.

“It’s exciting that Team Bonitas will be racing against some of the world’s top teams and riders in Europe. It’s the only way to grow the team to the next level and Bonitas has been fantastic in sharing this vision and giving us the appropriate support,” said Lange.


The team began its 10-day pre-season training camp in Cape Town on Thursday.


Team Bonitas 2012

Riders: Darren Lill, Johann Rabie, Hanco Kachelhoffer, Neil MacDonald Luthando Kaka, Jason Bakke, Waylon Woolcock, Ian McLeod, HB Kruger, Herman Fouche, Tyler Day.

Managers: Barry Austin, Kandice Buys

Mechanic: Magnus Gouws

Coach: Dr Jeroen Swart

Administration: Malcolm Lange, Jackie Lange


Sponsors: Bonitas Medical Fund financial support and medical insurance, Pinarello bicycles, Sidi shoes, Rudy Project helmets and eyewear, F-Tech clothing, CycleOps power meters, Biogen nutrition supplements, Dischem personal effects, Continental tyres and tubes, Look pedals, Linebreak compression garments, Compendium insurance, Bene mineral water, Columbia casual wear, Imperial Toyota vehicles, Primi Piatti restaurants, Vodacom communications, 0861Helivac medical emergency service.


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