World Class Professional Triathletes Sebastian Kienle and Ben Hoffman to Lead 2018 IRONMAN Foundation Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike Team
January 31, 2018
The IRONMAN Foundation to support three Absa Cape Epic race communities
CAPE TOWN, South Africa/TAMPA, Fla. (January 31, 2018) – The IRONMAN Foundation® today announced that the 2018 IMF Mountain Bike Team at the 2018 Absa Cape Epic® will be led by 2014 IRONMAN® World Champion and two-time IRONMAN 70.3® World Champion triathlete, Sebastian Kienle, and Ben Hoffman, six-time IRONMAN Champion and two-time IRONMAN World Championship Top Five finisher. The IRONMAN Foundation will have a total of three teams participating in the Absa Cape Epic, the world’s premiere mountain bike stage race, being held on March 18-25.
Joining Kienle and Hoffman will be U.S. Pro Mountain Bikers Kelly Megelky and Josh Bezecny, who race for Team Honey Stinger/Bontrager Mountain Bike Team, and South African Age-Group athletes Harold Myberg and Chris Vermuelen. These three teams will compete against 650 two-person teams of professional and age-group mountain bikers from around the world.
“I have followed the Absa Cape Epic mountain bike race for many years,” said Kienle. “Having the chance to race amongst the world’s best mountain bikers is something I am really looking forward to. Cape Epic is similar to IRONMAN, in that it is an adventure and competition at the same time that challenges you beyond your limits. While I love being challenged in different ways, this is something completely different. I am excited to share this experience with Ben and be a part of helping those in need.”
“This is great news,” said Kevin Vermaak, founder of the Absa Cape Epic. “To have IRONMAN champions cross over to the sport of mountain biking is very exciting. Sebastian and Ben will add another element of competition to our field of racers and we wish them the best of luck!”
To support The IRONMAN Foundation’s mission of creating tangible impact in race communities through grant funding and volunteerism, the athletes will focus their efforts both on-and-off the course. The IRONMAN Foundation and its team of athletes will donate a total of 225,000 ZAR to support select local nonprofit initiatives in three of the 2018 Absa Cape Epic host communities: Robertson, Worcester and Wellington. Organizations in these three communities may apply for grants from The IRONMAN Foundation, to support their respective missions, before the March 8, 2018 deadline at http://ironmanfoundation.org/absa-cape-epic-community-grant/.
“I’m really proud to have the opportunity to race the Absa Cape Epic as part of The IRONMAN Foundation Team,” said Hoffman. “I am looking forward to ‘racing for more’ and knowing that my efforts will help to make a difference in South Africa. Leaving something positive behind in these communities is important to me.”
“Although The IRONMAN Foundation is primarily focused on making a difference in North America, we have a long history of giving globally and acting locally,” said David Deschenes, Executive Director of The IRONMAN Foundation. “Having the opportunity to support community initiatives in Robertson, Worcester and Wellington, South Africa as part of the Absa Cape Epic event helps us spread the mission and positive impact of the IRONMAN Foundation.”
To help support the fundraising goals of Kienle and Hoffman, please visit https://www.crowdrise.com/Cape-Epic-IRONMANChamps. For more information on Cape Epic, The IRONMAN Foundation and IRONMAN, please visit www.cape-epic.com www.ironmanfoundation.org and www.ironman.com. For media related inquiries, please contact [email protected].
About The IRONMAN Foundation
The IRONMAN Foundation® creates positive, tangible change in IRONMAN race communities by engaging athletes and volunteers to participate in programs that demonstrate service through sport and commitment to community. Since 2003, over $50,000,000 has been provided through IRONMAN charitable giveback programs including the IRONMAN Foundation to more than 6,300 local, regional, national and global nonprofit initiatives. Through these partnerships, IRONMAN athletes are powerfully linked to the community and together we leave the IRONMAN legacy behind in our race communities long after event day. For more information on IRONMAN Foundation programs, including Team IMF, Community Fund, Your Journey Your Cause, and Women For Tri, visit www.ironmanfoundation.org.
About Absa Cape Epic
The Absa Cape Epic® is the world’s premier mountain bike stage race. The route changes every year, taking professional mountain bikers and aspiring amateurs from around the world through about 700km of unspoilt scenery and 15,000m of accumulated climbing over some of the most magnificent mountain passes in South Africa’s Western Cape province. The Absa Cape Epic is the most televised mountain bike event in the world and the only eight-day stage race classed as hors catégorie (beyond categorization) by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the same category as the iconic Grand Tours of road cycling. This official UCI status makes it a highlight of the professional rider’s calendar. The Absa Cape Epic also attracts amateur riders from around the world wanting to test themselves against the world’s leading riders. It is a full-service race, meaning that riders can concentrate on riding while services such as accommodation, food, bike cleaning and maintenance, laundry and medical assistance are provided for them.
A Wanda Sports Holdings company, IRONMAN operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series®, Iron Girl®, IRONKIDS®, International Triathlon Union World Triathlon Series races, road cycling events including the UCI Velothon® Series, mountain bike races including the Absa Cape Epic®, premier marathons including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon, and other multisport races. IRONMAN’s events, together with all other Wanda Sports Holdings events, provide more than a million participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. The iconic IRONMAN® Series of events is the largest participation sports platform in the world. Since the inception of the IRONMAN® brand in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines at the world’s most challenging endurance races. Beginning as a single race, IRONMAN has grown to become a global sensation with more than 200 events across 50 countries. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.