Bicycling (South Africa) - - STORIES -

What I love about The Munga is the op­por­tu­ni­ties it’s given rid­ers to carve out a niche mar­ket for them­selves, where their ex­ploits and per­son­al­i­ties merge. Kevin Benken­stein

(right) rode last year’s Munga, us­ing it to pro­pel him to plac­ing sec­ond in the Race to Rock, and in 2017 he came back again. Be­neath the calm and show­boat­ing ex­te­rior, he places a lot of pres­sure on him­self – as does ev­ery rider who be­lieves they’re in with a chance.

The for­mat, how­ever, means that just about any­thing can hap­pen. Right be­fore tak­ing this photo I re­ceived news that de­fend­ing women’s cham­pion Jean­nie Dreyer had bro­ken her rear axle and was limp­ing along the course – do­ing any­thing pos­si­ble to man­u­fac­ture a tem­po­rary fix and keep mov­ing for­ward. She only man­aged to get it fixed at RV2, 400km later – and still went on to de­fend her ti­tle.

The emo­tions are al­ways just be­neath the sur­face at The Munga. So when they are high and pos­i­tive, you’d bet­ter make the most of them, be­cause that will pass. But so will the times of des­per­a­tion.

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