FulGaz partners with Exxaro MTB Academy ahead of the Absa Cape Epic

FulGaz is a proud supporter of the Exxaro MTB cycling team in 2022/23 and will play a pivotal role in helping the Exxaro riders prepare for the next edition of the Absa Cape Epic.

Since its inception, the Exxaro Academy has introduced mountain biking to historically disadvantaged South African communities, with the goal of bringing about a change in perception of the opportunities available in mountain biking, sport and life.

The Absa Cape Epic is the world’s premier mountain bike stage race, and it is held in South Africa’s Western Cape, a place that is notorious for pushing bodies, minds, and machines to their limits and arriving prepared, both mentally and physically plays a key role in the success of any rider’s Absa Cape Epic campaign.

To ensure that the physical preparation side of training is taken care of at the Exxaro MTB Academy, FulGaz has provided complimentary memberships and subscriptions to the app that will allow the Exxaro teams to train year-round in a safe and structured environment.

“We have been looking for a way to give back to the grassroots side of riding and when this opportunity came along, we were very excited to help the young, emerging talent on the team.” said FulGaz Founder Mike Clucas.

He added “We know that you can’t have an amazing athlete without a strong support network behind them, and the Exxaro team do an amazing job of working with these riders to provide key support structures to them.”

“The race for the Exxaro Special Jersey at the Absa Cape Epic is always exciting as we see teams from historically disadvantaged backgrounds living their sporting dreams and rubbing shoulders with some of cycling’s greats,” explained Marc Erasmus, Partnership Manager for the Absa Cape Epic.

He added, “In addition to reaching new heights in sports, the winners of the Exxaro Special Jersey also win a cash prize, either a bursary from Curro Holdings or access to a distance learning program from Stadio, and a trip to the Bakala Academy in Belgium. The prize is unrivalled and helps pave the way for these riders, who are all under the age of 26, to realise their dreams and to create a positive future for themselves. With access to FulGaz year-round, we can expect a few more of the Exxaro teams to be mixing it up at the sharp end of the field in 2023 and beyond.”

Founded in 2014 by Mike Clucas in Melbourne, Australia, FulGaz aims to bring the most realistic riding experience to life via its app. FulGaz is all about the joy of riding outside and aims to be the closest thing to travelling and riding in real locations around the world. When you use FulGaz, the experience is all about being immersed in the location in real life, with the app getting in the way as little as possible.

The Absa Cape Epic is the world’s premier mountain bike stage race. The route changes every year, leading aspiring amateur and professional mountain bikers from around the world through 650 Untamed kilometres of unspoilt scenery and up 16 000m of climbing.

The Absa Cape Epic is the most televised mountain bike race in the world and classed as UCI Mountain Bike Marathon Series (SSR) by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI); this official UCI status makes it a highlight on the professional racer’s calendar. The Absa Cape Epic also attracts aspiring amateur riders wanting to test themselves against the best. It is a full-service race, meaning that everything is taken care of from the start – all riders need to think about is riding.

In 2016 the Cape Epic PTY (ltd) was acquired by the IRONMAN group and is now the pinnacle event of the Epic Series which includes the SPAR Swiss Epic in Switzerland and 4Islands MTB Stage Race Croatia.

This initiative started in 2011 when former Exxaro CEO, Sipho Nkosi noticed the absence of historically disadvantaged South African (HDSA) riders at the Absa Cape Epic. This sparked the idea of bringing mountain biking to all levels of society in South Africa and enabling youths to fulfil their dreams.