Cape Town – 2016 ABSA Cape Epic African jersey winning duo, Darren Lill and Waylon Woolcock have joined with 2008 Beijing Olympian, Candice Neethling and former elite mountain biker, Timo Cooper in a four-rider team for The Cows’ 100 Miles of Nowhere challenge at the Tyger Valley Cadence Cycling Performance Centre on Friday, 24 June from 14h00.
The Cows – a group of individuals who utilise their interest in endurance events to raise money for CHOC’s (Children’s Haematology Oncology Clinics) childhood cancer treatment and support programmes – gather annually for this gruelling fundraiser in which participants cycle 160km on a stationary bicycle, raising money for their efforts along the way.
For the four Cape Town based cyclists, joining the 100 Miles of Nowhere initiative is a rare opportunity to give back to those in need and one they are thrilled to be a part of.
“It's a pleasure being involved in the 100 Miles of Nowhere!” says USN Purefit’s Woolcock. “It's not always possible for us as professional cyclists to attend such charity events so I'm super happy to able to support this CHOC foundation focused event.”
Woolcock’s USN Purefit team mate, Lill shares similar sentiments. “For me, using my sporting ability to try give something back to others in need is a no brainer!”
“I see me being able to do what I do as a blessing and a gift and in turn I’m passionate about using it to bless others where I can; this year’s 100 Miles of Nowhere is a great opportunity to do so.”
Cooper – who retired from competitive cycling a year ago – also values being a part of an event that is more than just a race.
“At USN, we always encourage to Darren and Waylon to look out for opportunities like the 100 Miles of Nowhere because giving back to individuals and worthy causes is just as important as their racing!” says Cooper, USN Brand Manager.
“So many people are often out there, supporting our guys while they’re competing and so it’s great to be able to give a little back to them as well.”
The renowned passion and buzz that follows The Cows’ herd wherever they go is another exciting element of the day and one Dormakaba’s Neethling is relishing being a part of for once.
“It’s great to take part in an event that for once is not about us trying to win as that allows us to get involved in the real meaning behind the 100 Miles of Nowhere,” says Neethling.
“I actually saw a lot of people dressed up as The Cows at the National Marathon in Van Gaalen last weekend and I had to smile because they are always so full of energy and so chirpy, even though they’re probably so hot and bothered in those suits!
“I am excited to be taking part in a very different kind of event like the 100 Miles of Nowhere as well as making a small difference in people’s lives through what I love doing while I’m also really looking forward to having the chance to return some of those jokes those mad cows often throw at me at races,” laughs the Dormakaba rider.
Full schedules and race commitments for the remainder of the weekend mean it is unlikely the quartet will be drawn into any record time heroics come Friday, 24 June’s challenge.
However, with just 40 kilometres to be completed by each of the elite competitors, those joining Lill, Woolcock, Neethling and Cooper at the Tyger Valley facility will need to be on top of their game if they are to succeed in hanging onto the pros’ stationary bike’s back wheel.
“I don't think any of us will be in too much of a hurry,” suggests Woolcock.
“We haven't really thought of a time goal too much but I'm guessing it will take us around 5hrs or so,” adds Lill.
Cycling enthusiasts in the Western Cape are encouraged to join the day’s mooovement and rub shoulders with some of their cycling heroes at the Tyger Valley Cadence Cycling Performance Centre. Those wanting to take part can enter in either one, two or four-man teams with entries costing R1000, R600 per person or R350 per person respectively while sponsorship of each participants’ efforts are also welcome.
The Cows’ 100 Miles of Nowhere takes place on Friday, 24 June in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and the Western Cape. Entries can be submitted and more information found at www.100milesofnowhere.co.za.