24 January 2014
In a first for the South African mountain biking community, the Kargo Pro MTB team has been accepted as a UCI MTB team by world cycling’s governing body.
Phase one of team manager Shaun Peschl’s dream was realised on Tuesday when he received official confirmation from the UCI that his “team will be registered as a 2014 UCI MTB Team”, paving the way for the outfit to start their international journey and, hopefully, follow a similar pathway of success to that of South African road cycling phenomenon Team MTN Qhubeka, presented by Samsung.
“We are thrilled by the news that we can now officially call ourselves a UCI mountain bike team for 2014,” an ecstatic Peschl said in a statement on Thursday.
“Looking at how far Doug Ryder has gone with his MTN Qhubeka team on the road, he has truly been an inspiration for us and we hope to have the same impact on the South African MTB scene,” he added.
The UCI’s acceptance of the Kargo setup will see the “Proudly South African” outfit turn their full attention towards their short term goals while always bearing in mind their ultimate motivator: the Olympic Games.
SA sponsors and bicycles
“We really are very proud of the fact that almost all of our setup is South African. All our riders are from SA, our title sponsor, Kargo, is a South African company and even the bikes we ride, Momsen Bikes, are from here,” Peschl explained.
“We had a really good pre-season and our season began nicely a couple of weeks ago. Now it’s all about fighting for every UCI point available.
“Short term goals for us are to be as consistent as possible locally, to achieve good results at the UCI World Cups and the 2014 Commonwealth Games, and to have at least five of our riders compete at the 2014 World Champs, while our long term dream is definitely all about the Olympics,” he said.
A major step in the right direction
For the team cross-country ace Rourke Croeser, the news is a major step in the right direction, not only for the Kargo Pro MTB team but for the sport of mountain biking throughout South Africa.
“It really is just great for cycling, and particularly mountain biking, in South Africa,” commented Croeser. “Hopefully this also starts a trend here in South Africa and other teams start taking competing internationally seriously as well.
“The more UCI teams we have in SA can only be good for mountain biking in the country.”