Meet The New Powerhouse Marathon MTB Team Imbuko {type}DEV equipped by Giant

by | Jan 14, 2022 | Bike, Cycling Athlete Profiles

We’ve stepped into 2022 and the have been a few team shuffles in the local MTB racing scene. Two of the well established players from previous years, Imbuko Giant and {type}DEV NanoTime, have joined forces in creating a huge six-man marathon MTB focused racing team! 33 year old Stuart Marais is playing a managerial role but certainly intends to do some racing in the team colours this year. The next oldest team member is 24 year old Marco Joubert, showing the youthful focus of the team!

Meet The New Powerhouse Marathon Mtb Team Imbuko {Type}Dev Equipped By Giant
The team of young guns are ready to rip in 2022

The full team lineup consists of Stuart Marais and Marco Joubert (as mentioned), as well as Wessel Botha, Franko Van Zyl, Pieter Du Toit (previously with Pyga Eurosteel) and Rudi Koen. As much as the team is very young, all the riders have a good few years under the belt when it comes to racing marathon events and will only be going from strength to strength in 2022. The team is still finalising who the likely pairings will be for the team events and will have a look and see who is a good performance match after the first couple races of the season, namely Momentum Medical Scheme Attakwas Extreme and Imbuko Big 5.

Equipped by Giant Bicycles the new team not only has the funding of co-title sponsors Imbuko Wines and {type}DEV Master Software Crafters but also the backing of a number of major cycling industry brands. These include Ciovita, Shimano, Wahoo, Schwalbe, Power2Max, Peruzzo Bike Racks, Endurade, Lazer Helmets, Vivovita’s USWE Hydration Backpacks and Squirt Cycling Products. From beyond the cycling industry Golden Yoke and Optimum Insurance have added their support to the team. 

Meet The New Powerhouse Marathon Mtb Team Imbuko {Type}Dev Equipped By Giant
Single track riding is a strength for these guys with 3 of them calling the big mountains of the Western Cape home

Having sponsored a South African mountain biking team since 2017 Imbuko Wines has built a reputation for fostering young talent and promoting exciting racing. {type}DEV, for their part, entered the sport when their support was needed most; mid-pandemic in 2020. This brave move saw them found a team when little to no racing was taking place.

Meet The New Powerhouse Marathon Mtb Team Imbuko {Type}Dev Equipped By Giant
From left: Rudi, Wessel, Franko, Pieter, Marco. The older and wiser Stuart Marais is the only rider missing from the group here. He’ll be playing team manager and lighting it up at the races when he can!

The first major event of the season is the Attakwas set to take place on Saturday 15th of January in scorching heat. Wessel, Marco, Pieter, and Franko will be taking the start line, Wessel defending his 2021 title at the event. Pieter Du Toit was dealt an unfortunate puncture at least year’s race but is known for charging really hard on the bike. We have our money on a strong performance from him at Attakwas! Having 6 riders does mean that they can each target specific races and ensure that the team is represented at a good variety of events while avoiding over-racing themselves.

Not much more than a month following Attakwas is the team’s “home race” the Imbuko Big 5 Mountain Challenge where all 6 riders will be racing their hearts out on the gruelling 75km by 3020m vertical course in Wellington, starting and finishing at Imbuko Wines (19 Feb). 3 out of the 6 riders are based outside of the Western Cape and thus the team plans to link up a week before the event in Wellington for a bit of a team camp and pre-race prep.

Meet The New Powerhouse Marathon Mtb Team Imbuko {Type}Dev Equipped By Giant
The 2022 Giant Anthem is the race weapon for the team and we’re pretty sure it won’t be holding them back!

Having the crew spread across the country does have it’s advantages when it comes to getting representation at a variety of events. Pieter and Wessel are based in Potchefstroom and Pretoria respectively and can cover the Gauteng events while Stuart calls KZN home and will doing some racing in that corner of the country. KZN will host the SA Marathon Champs on the 29th of May in Karkloof which means Stuart can be using his proximity and local knowledge to the team’s advantage. With all of the team but Pieter being trained by the renowned experts at Science to Sport , getting some synergy between everyone’s training schedule isn’t too much of a complicated matter.

3 of the 6 riders, (Marco, Wessel, and Pieter) are on the brand new 2022 Giant Anthem that we checked out recently while the others should have theirs within the next few weeks. The modern geometry and longer travel suspension will be the perfect recipe for taming the technical trails of the Western Cape’s marathon and XCO races.

Meet The New Powerhouse Marathon Mtb Team Imbuko {Type}Dev Equipped By Giant
Pieter du Toit is bring some thunder from Gauteng and we’re excited to see him stretch his legs in the new team!

As a winemaker and the managing director of Imbuko Wines, Team Principle Theunis Van Zyl has long seen the synergy between mountain biking and wine. “I’m really excited about the partnership with {type}DEV. With their support and with the continued commitment of Giant Bicycles, along with our other sponsors, I look forward to the Imbuko {type}DEV equipped by Giant team reaching new heights locally and internationally in 2022. Watching the team perform at an increasingly high level over the last few years has been exceptionally rewarding” Van Zyl smiled. “Particularly so because the riders we have supported have largely been young talents. I’d like to think that the Absa African Jersey podium place in 2021 was but the first of many incredible highlights we’ll be able to look fondly back on in years to come. With {type}DEV and Giant’s support the sky really is the limit for the squad we’ve assembled.” 

“At the highest levels, cycling and software development are incredibly competitive disciplines, populated by passionate and talented people” stated {type}DEV Marketing Manager Zane Masson. “Both require years of experience as well as the continued commitment to keep learning and developing in order to be and remain successful. Only an unwavering desire to be the best and a passion for what you do can fuel the hard work needed to stay competitive. It is this golden thread which draws a distinct parallel between the software development industry and professional mountain biking that explains {type}DEV’s commitment to the sport.” 

Meet The New Powerhouse Marathon Mtb Team Imbuko {Type}Dev Equipped By Giant
Having raced alongside the notorious Matt Beers, Wessel will have some valuable experience to bring to the table.

“Giant Bicycles South Africa are proud to continue our relationship with Imbuko and welcome new sponsor {type}DEV to the racing team for 2022” noted Andrew Cattell of Dragons Sports, the Giant Bicycles distributor for Southern Africa. “It has been great to watch this young team grow over the past 3 years and we look forward to another exciting year of racing.” 

The excitement of all those involved is justified by the balance of the Imbuko {type}DEV equipped by Giant team. Though each of the riders in the team has shown great promise at various stages of their young careers, the strength of the squad is likely to come from its depth. For each race throughout the stacked South African stage race calendar the team will be able to match the riders on the best form together, while also providing able support from a back-up team. 

Meet The New Powerhouse Marathon Mtb Team Imbuko {Type}Dev Equipped By Giant
We’re itching to be back at the Imbuko Big 5 this year and it will be a home race for the Imbuko sponsored team. No pressure!

Team Imbuko {type}DEV equipped by Giant’s local and international racing schedule, for 2022, will be announced in due course. By the sounds of things there are hopes to get involved in some international marathon races. On the local front after Attakwas and the Big 5, key races include the Absa Cape Epic, KAP sani2c and FNB Wines2Whales. The team members will also be racing individually in the King Price TrailSeeker series and contesting for the South African Marathon Championship title.

Mountain biking fans can stay updated on all the news from the Imbuko {type}DEV equipped by Giant team by liking the Imbuko {type}DEV Facebook page and following @imbukotypedev on Instagram. 

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