Cyclists riding in the sixth annual Ride for MRP Foundation approach Hillcrest through Inchanga, KZN after starting day two of the ride in Ladysmith at 4am today and finishing in Durban at 4pm. PICTURE: PIERRE TOSTEE / MRP FOUNDATION
The sixth annual Ride For MRP Foundation finished on a high note as 40 seasoned cyclists successfully completed one of South Africa’s toughest road rides. The epic 660 km ride from Johannesburg to Durban spanned over two days (November 29- 30) and raised funds for the MRP Foundation that looks set to reach the incredible target of R300 000.
Day one pushed the cyclists’ mental and physical limits as they tackled some big climbs on the journey from Johannesburg to Ladysmith, covering 370 km in just 14 hours. The determined cyclists set a strong downhill pace on the day 2, gaining momentum as they were escorted through sunny Durban by the Metro police, finally arriving at the Mr Price Head Office to a cheering crowd of well wishers.
Testament to the popularity of the gruelling cycle challenge entries poured in this year. Kelvin du Sart, Chairman of the Westville Cycle Club and visionary and organiser behind the ride was impressed by both the riders’ camaraderie and the ride itself: “The ride went exactly to plan, the heat doesn’t prove too much of a challenge and they all made it through successfully! And of course a big thanks to assistant and support team who followed them the whole way.”
Since it was first staged in 2010 over R500 000 has been raised through the event with that figure set to raise even higher after this ride. Proceeds go to the MRP Foundation, a nonprofit with a vision for South Africa where young people become inspired, healthy and engaged citizens through education and skills development programmes.
Natasja Ambrosio, Director of the MRP Foundation, was overwhelmed by the courageous cyclists saying, “These cyclists put their bodies on the line to raise funds and awareness for the MRP Foundation which is an extraordinary action worth celebrating. With their help and everyone who has organised, supported and donated we are able to continue to impact thousands of young South Africans and give them the opportunity to become something significant, a task we have been passionately doing for the past ten years. Together we can create change and do good.”
The MRP Foundation is all about ordinary people doing extraordinary things, something sixth time rider Craig Jones knows all about. The Financial Manager at the Mr Price Group proudly rode in an illustrious yellow jersey, an honourable goal for other riders to work towards. The six time rider was still feeling strong at the finish was really impressed with everyone that took part saying, “The Ride for MRP Foundation is about an amazing bunch of guys, doing amazing things for an amazing cause.”
A big thank you to all the sponsors and partners Borwood, CC Gallery, Absa, Defy, Hoopers, MRP Sport, Hirt and Carter, MRP Sport, MRP Home, I G Hoosen, SPAR & MEG.
The Ride for MRP Foundation cyclists are:
Yellow jersey - 6th time rider: Craig Jones
Green jersey - 5th time riders: Clynt Lund, Leon Crous, Dave Duke
Pink jersey - 4th & 3rd time riders: Brad Rowlett, Mike Viljoen, Keagan Matthews, Brenda Potts, Darryl Seed, Brent Henegan, John Campbell
White jersey - 2nd & 1st time riders: Gary Raath, Mike Pammenter, John Armstrong, Peter-John Paulsen, Greg Aitkenhead, Nolan Waldhausen, Tessa Hesse, Stuart Slater, Isabel Moolman, Teneal Featherby, Chad Message, Neels Taljaard, Philippe Moretonas, Austin Steyn, Alan Roe, Randy Walker, Gareth Ducler, Wayne Englund, Greg Stedman, Michael Rowland, Gary Doyle, Mark Carroll, James Davey, Tanner Quinn, Travis Stedman, Nigel Payne (Mr P Group Chairman), Adrian Payne, Arrie Rautenbach, August van Heerden, Richard Hawkins, George Oertel