Nicholas Dlamini to conquer the Absa Cape Epic

Team Qhubeka’s Nicholas Dlamini is to undertake an exciting new challenge as together with proudly African bank, Absa he will ride the world’s most prestigious mountain bike stage race – the Absa Cape Epic.

The 26-year-old from Capricorn Park in Cape Town is the first black South African cyclist to ride in the 2021 Tour de France and was selected to represent South Africa at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Nicholas’ dream is to finish Tour de France one day and the partnership with Absa aims to bring him one step closer to realising his dream.

“At Absa, we understand the value of partnerships and we live up to our proposition of bringing possibilities to life. We are very proud of Nic and what he has achieved in his career. He is a true ambassador for the sport and for the country as a whole. And together with his partner Oliver Munnik we feel we can showcase our ambition and we wish them both the best of luck for the upcoming event” says Absa Managing Executive Geoff Lee.

As Dlamini makes his first foray into the sport, he will partner with well-known South African mountain biker, Oliver Munnik, and will lean heavily on the veteran’s technical and mechanical skills for the event. Both Dlamini and Munnik are twin respectively and Absa has named them ‘Team Absa Amawele’, which means twins in isiXhosa.

Nicholas expressed his excitement for the upcoming Absa Cape Epic; “I’m extremely excited to be taking on the challenge of one of the most iconic cycling events – the Absa Cape Epic. Having ridden at some of the world’s biggest races including the Tour de France and Olympic Games, to now have the opportunity to experience the Absa Cape Epic as a part of Team Absa is a real privilege. This opportunity will enable me to continue to grow as a rider and that is a vital step in my journey and that of Team Qhubeka as we aim to once again compete on the highest level, and return to the Tour de France one day.”

“I’ll be relying extensively on my “twin” Oli throughout. His technical nous is going to be invaluable, while his mechanical skills during the race are going to be key in getting us, and more specifically me, through the difficult moments!”

Professional mountain biker, Oliver Munnik shared his excitement about the partnership; “With minimal mountain biking experience, Nic has taken to riding off-road well. Watching him gain more and more confidence on the single tracks has been awesome and we’re on track to being ready for the Absa Cape Epic. I’ll never forget lining up for my first Epic in 2007, butterflies abuzz. I’m really excited to be partnering with Nic on his first attempt at the world’s toughest MTB Race. Having Absa’s support in the build-up to and during the event itself is going to be incredible and I can’t wait for us to take our first pedal strokes to kick off our 2022 Absa Cape Epic”.

Doug Ryder, Team Principal – Team Qhubeka said: “I’m really excited for Nic doing the Absa Cape Epic this year. For a rider that’s gone from the Tour de France on the road to the Tour de France of mountain biking, it is a great journey. Nic is of an adventurous spirit and I think this is going to be a nice new experience for him, especially riding with the experienced Oliver Munnik.

“I think the two of them will have a great preparation and a nice race as well. Perhaps they could be up there on certain days fighting it out with the big teams but I look forward to them just gelling – having a great race – and being able to integrate with the Absa clients and other riders that are doing the race, which will be great.

“Absa has been a great supporter of the Qhubeka Charity and of cycling in South Africa all through the years and to have someone like Nic Dlamini riding for Team Absa in this event is very special. Nic has a great story and a great future in cycling with lots still to do in his career so it’s a really nice partnership so I’m really excited that Nic can join Team Absa for the Absa Cape Epic this year.”

Profile

Oliver Munnik 36 (South Africa)                   

Hailing from Cape Town, Oli Munnik is a former professional mountain biker whose career saw him competing at an international level in Downhill, XCO, Marathon, Enduro and Road Racing. Currently Oli is the Marketing Manager at Rush Sports, a leading distributor of international and local cycling brands in South Africa such as Santa Cruz, Maxxis and Signal Bikes. He competed in his first ABSA Cape Epic in 2007 as a 21 year-old, achieving 11th overall with several Top 10 stage finishes. Fast forward to 2022 and Oli will be starting his 12th Absa Cape Epic partnering with international cycling hero Nic Dlamini as part of Team Absa.