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Pedal Project Launches Racing Sub-Category within UCI Women’s Field at Absa Cape Epic





The Pedal Project, a pioneering community-driven mental health support program leveraging mountain biking to empower children from historically disadvantaged backgrounds, announces its official charity partnership with the Absa Cape Epic. In a bid to raise awareness for the charity and foster healthy competition during the race, the Pedal Project introduces the PedalForGood leaders’ jersey, a competition nestled within the broader UCI Women’s race.


The Pedal Project's initiative aims to shine a spotlight on riders who juggle racing ambitions with career and family commitments. This unique sub-category, previously dubbed the "working heroines," saw its inaugural race during the 2023 Absa Cape Epic. The friendly yet fiercely competitive atmosphere provided a new avenue for participants to engage in the sport, encouraging spirited racing throughout the event.


Kylie Hanekom, Head of Content and Marketing for Bike Hub, fondly recollects the camaraderie and competitive spirit of the previous race: "Racing for ninth place, albeit an hour behind the leading team, can be disheartening. However, our internal competition gave us renewed focus and determination throughout all eight days of the race."


As an official charity partner of the Absa Cape Epic, the Pedal Project utilizes the platform to amplify its mission of promoting mental and physical well-being through mountain biking. Founder Jaco van der Linde emphasizes the program's focus on "Trail Therapy," harnessing the therapeutic benefits of cycling to empower children facing life's challenges.


As an official charity of the Absa Cape Epic the Pedal Project is using the race to PedalForGood and raise both funds for, and awareness of, their programme. “We use mountain biking as a tool to promote physical-, but more importantly mental- health,” charity founder Jaco van der Linde said. “Every weekday 120 children from Maccassar, Strand, and soon Jamestown outside of Stellenbosch, come to ride mountain bikes with the Pedal Project. They receive guidance from mentors and are helped to build the tools to overcome the challenges they will face in life.”


Juanita Mackenzie, a founding member of the informal women's group, attests to the profound impact of cycling on her well-being: "Racing my bike makes me feel alive. It's my therapy. It makes my heart happy."


The camaraderie within the group extends beyond individual teams, fostering a culture of support and sportsmanship. Mackenzie praises her fellow riders for their grit, determination, and unwavering support both on and off the bike.


The 2024 Absa Cape Epic will witness the battle for the PedalForGood jersey, celebrating the achievements of these remarkable women as they navigate the rigorous 613-kilometer route. The competition promises to be intense yet equitable, with each participant recognized for their contributions to the sport and the community.


Team Name

Rider Name

Cape Classic 380

Tarryn Povey

Kylie Hanekom

Elements

Juanita Mackenzie

Mandi Augustyn

Fortress Investments

Ila Stow

Laura Stark

SHEOVITA

Jessica Wilkinson

Rebecca van Huyssteen

TBC

Nicola Freitas

Robyn Williams


### About the Pedal Project:

The Pedal Project is a community-driven mental health support program that utilizes mountain biking to empower children from historically disadvantaged communities. Through mentorship and guidance, the program aims to equip children with the tools to overcome life's challenges, promoting both physical and mental well-being.


### About the Absa Cape Epic:

The Absa Cape Epic is the premier mountain biking stage race in the world, attracting elite athletes and enthusiasts from across the globe. Known for its challenging routes and breathtaking landscapes, the race showcases the beauty of South Africa while pushing participants to their limits.



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