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Remembering why it’s Epic: Tsepo's Story

As a prologue to the prologue we can’t help but look back at the year that has passed. Food Cycle, a dream born during the 2014 Absa Cape Epic, has seen immense growth both on the ground and in the hearts of all those involved in the initiative.

David Higgs, trustee of Food Cycle, will be riding with Team Meerendal and in support of Food Cycle. David’s partner, Tsepo Nyirenda, has made the journey nothing short of Epic. David and Tsepo met at last year’s Absa Cape Epic where Tsepo was riding as part of team Absa. Tsepo had been given just a few short months to train after he was asked to replace another rider. This is a tall order for a youngster like Tsepo who was earning no income, did not own a bicycle and had little to no experience in stage mountain bike riding. David and Tsepo formed an unspoken bond on the trails over the last few days of the Epic, a bond that will now see them participating in the Epic as an official team and with the goal of raising awareness for Food Cycle firmly embedded in the back of their minds.

This year, Tsepo is far better prepared for the mammoth task that is the Epic. Since last year’s Epic, Tsepo has competed in numerous stage races and one-day events, including the gruelling Attakwas, Tankwa Trek and the Lesotho Sky, which gave Tsepo the opportunity to return to his home country as a proud rider and chef-in-training. The partnership formed between Food Cycle and the Diepsloot Mountain Bike Academy has already allowed so many of Tsepo’s dreams to come to fruition and has given the younger kids of Diepsloot hope, hope for their own futures if they are willing to work hard and ride hard. Thanks to the Saxon Hotel, Tsepo is now on a three-year professional cookery internship under David’s mentorship. 

Tsepo and his story are filled with passion and quiet dogged determination. The team’s training journey has been so much more than just training; a new companion in the kitchen and a good friendship between two kindred spirits with a shared passion for cycling and a magic touch to food. As Food Cycle continues to grow from strength to strength, we remember why we ride, to remind the boys and girls of Diepsloot, and all over South Africa, that your past doesn’t determine your future.  This year’s Epic is just 9 days away and we can’t wait to see our team make yet another dream come true.

Thank you to Absa and Diepsloot Mountain Bike Academy for putting together this amazing video, telling the world the story of our hero, Tsepo Nyirenda!

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