“I know all about the Tour de France as I watched it a lot on TV. But to hear that I was actually going there was absolutely amazing. This is my first time overseas,” says 23-year-old professional cyclist Vuyo Mavuya from Khayelitsha who started cycling in 2016 through The Sports Trust Development Cycling Programme.
Mavuya and fellow Sports Trust development cyclist turned pro, Vuyolwethu Nkomo (18) – who started cycling in 2014 – are heading for the Tour de France, sponsored by Disfruta Sports Tours.
This new partnership between DisFruta and The Sports Trust will continue for the next two years but only one cyclist will be chosen annually for 2020 and 2021, based on their performance.
During their stay, Mavuya and Nkomo, will experience what the Tour De France challenge is all about. They’ll be riding on some of the same routes and under the same race conditions as the professionals, testing their ability on several of the big mountain climbs in the Alps. They will witness stage 17 of the actual Tour de France, spectating from the legendary Col du Galibier pass, and they get to spend some time with the competing teams from around the world to learn directly from them.
On Sunday July 28, 2019, when the winner of the Tour de France crosses the finish line at the Champs-Elysées in Paris, these two young men will be there to witness and celebrate this great sporting achievement.
Aiming to sport that polka dot jersey as King of the Mountain at the Tour de France in the next couple of years, Mavuya and Nkomo are the face of The Sports Trust Development Cycling Programme and have worked phenomenally hard to achieve what they have in a few short years.
They have taken the opportunity offered to them with everything they have, and shown us they have the physical ability, the mental attitude and the love of the sport to succeed at the highest level. “We’re incredibly proud of them and they will return enriched and motivated by the experience,’ says Bernice van der Walt, Marketing Manager of the Nedbank Sport Affinity.
“Nedbank is equally proud to be part of the successful, sustainable development cycling programme for the past 15 years and to contribute towards Mavuya and Nkomo’s Tour de France trip.”
Nkomo, a matric learner at Matthew Goniwe Memorial High School in Khayelitsha, was awarded his Western Province cycling colours this year and Mavuya, a former Matthew Goniwe learner, won King of the Mountain on the 9 February 2019 at the 102km WeBenefit 99er in Durbanville – the third largest race in the Western Cape.
Mike Tippett, Manager of The Sports Trust Development Cycling Program says that “Over the past four years we have seen the talent coming through to the top in this programme. These are our future South African champions and they have the potential to go to the Olympics. We cannot wait to see where the next few years take Vuyo and Vuyolwethu. They are bright stars with incredible natural talent who have achieved their dreams by being part of the Sports Trust Development Cycling Programme, and now it’s their time to shine.”