The Prize Money Story At KAP sani2c And What The Pros Think

by | Apr 20, 2023 | Bike Racing News, Bike, Bike Events & Racing, Sports

Making it as a professional mountain biker isn’t all that easy. Sponsorships and be fickle at times and a lot of South Africa’s best have to rely on supplementary income streams to maintain financial stability. Given that, it’s great to see events that herald themselves as big races and trying to attract the pros really investing in those riders and making the racing worth their while with a significant prize purse. It’s a great way to give back to the sport and keep things sustainable as well as stimulate good competition in the elite categories! The KAP sani2c, going into it’s 19th year in 2023, is one of those events that does their best to invest in the pro riders who make the effort to come and race the event and put on a good show!

Prize money at KAP sani2c

KAP sani2c is known for its sizable prize purse and 2023 is no exception, with R 550 000 up for grabs across the various categories. The top three men’s teams and the top three women’s teams will receive equal prize money, as well as the top three Young Guns men and women. While some of the category prizes may be affected by the number of entries per category, the categories are as follows:

  • Open/Overall, Men and Women (19+)
  • Young Guns, Men and Women (Under 23) 
  • Veteran, Men and Women (40-49)
  • Sub-Veteran Men (30-39)
  • Veteran Men (40-49)
  • Master Men (50+)
  • Grand Master Men (60+)
  • Mixed Team (19+)
Pro Mountain Bikers Comment On The Prize Money At Sani2C
HB Kruger loves racing the KAP sani2c and comes back for more every year! (c) sani2c / Anthony Grote

HB Kruger, who will be racing with Rossouw Bekker for Valley Electrical Titan Racing, says that the prize money leads to proper racing and makes the racing hard: “It is always motivating to see organisers putting down good prize money at the bigger events, as pro athletes in South Africa we get little chance to compete for proper prize money, and there are only a handful of events per year that actually offer proper prize money. It is almost a no-brainer to compete for the prize purse, and when it is good, it brings some good competition.”

Samantha Sanders, who will race with defending champion Kim Le Court for Efficient Infiniti Racing, agrees that the prize money is a motivator: “It certainly is an incentive. As a pro athlete, I personally do consider prize money when choosing events. At the end of the day, I have to consider whether an event is worth attending relative to the time and effort I put into my training, as well as the time it will take away from training or preparing for another.” 

Pro Mountain Bikers Comment On The Prize Money At Sani2C
Sam Sanders (left) is one of the evergreen performers at the KAP sani2c and other stage races around the country! (c) sani2c / Anthony Grote

KAP sani2c founder Glen Haw says the elite rider experience is one they pay attention to: “As much as sani2c is geared to provide the full range of riders with the ride of their lives , we also feel strongly about supporting those who do this for a living, and in such a challenging climate for mountain bikers sourcing sponsorship, key events having good prize money is important to the industry.” 

Defending champions Wessel Botha and Marco Joubert will again be riding for Imbuko {TypeDev}. Botha says the prize money is a really, really great thing: “I think a lot of races have a big first place and then second almost nothing, where at sani2c it’s a good first place prize and it goes down gradually all the way to fifth place. Also, having the Young Guns category is super cool. I used to be one of the younger guys, and it’s a big incentive for them to come to the stage races and see what they’ve got. I think it’s a great initiative from sani.”

Pro Mountain Bikers Comment On The Prize Money At Sani2C
Wessel Botha opens the taps up Clint’s Climb with Marc Pritzen on his right at the 2022 KAP sani2c race (c) sani2c / Anthony Grote

Sarah Hill will be paired with Elrika Harmzen, riding as HH Womens’ Racing.  “As a team that’s currently not sponsored, when I saw the prize money I just had a huge sigh of relief, because I knew if we do our absolute best, that we could come top three, and if we do, that means our season will be extended. To be able to compete for income, essentially, that’s going to fuel the extension of our season, is just absolutely incredible. To have such a big investment go into the woman’s field is huge. So we’re grateful.”

Pros in the Race Villages

Another unique element at sani2c is that many of the pro riders stay in the race village, camping and attending meals along with other participants. Kruger says: “Being in the race village at sani2c is always special because it is one of the few events where you are able to sit down after a stage and connect with other riders that are busy racing the same race. You get to hear war stories first hand from mates that are busy racing their own race, whether they are competing for a podium or taking on their first sani, you get to hear it from their perspective, which is cool.” 

The Kap Sani2C Race Villages Are A Great Experience
The buzz in the race village at sani2c is awesome! (c) sani2c / Rory Scheffer

Sanders says: “The race village vibe is a blast but also very comfortable. Every year we arrive finding new or upgraded facilities at the villages, showing that the event is truly invested in the ‘Rider Experience’.”

The reverse start on Day 3

And then there is the reverse start. Slower riders experience the racing up close and personal, as the A batch starts last on day 3 and needs to pass the full field of riders on their way to Scottburgh. The main reason for this is for there to be finishers and supporters at the finish at the Scottburgh Golf Club.

Kruger says: “sani2c is one of the few events which has been able to keep the Pro racing alive, and I think the last day with the reverse start has added to the hype for the front end of the field. From the five sani2c races  I’ve done, we have had little issues with people not making way or letting us pass safely and it is great arriving at the finish full of spectators and a crowd waiting to see who wins the stage and the race overall.” 

Sanders says: “My personal experience with the reverse start at sani2c is positive. I have always found that the slower riders we end up catching, are incredibly courteous, and even take the time to cheer us on as we pass. I think the trick is to alert them in a friendly and calm fashion that you are approaching.”

Hill says she loves it: “I think it is so fun. It allows us racing snakes to have a little bit more empathy and understanding when we pass people. You need to make decisions on how you’re going to pass them and how you’re going to encourage riders when you pass them. If you can get around a group and then attack, you have a gap. So it keeps us racers really tight together and it becomes a lot more tactical, and a lot more fun. 

Sani2C Has A Reverse Order Start On Day 3
The pros blast through the day 3 course and the back markers get a chance to see some of the action up close! (c) sani2c / Anthony Grote

“For me, it’s an opportunity to see the crowd. As a cycling coach in the industry, a lot of the people who race are people who I coach, and they’re wanting to do their best. It allows the riders at the back to see their own potential for growth I think. Maybe they have a mate who starts in the group behind them on day 3, who was always in the group in front – it can make you push yourself a little bit more; it’s an inspiring environment.”

For those not riding sani2c, the race will be broadcast live on their Instagram stories, so you can be up close and personal for all three days and experience the speed of these incredible athletes. The Race starts on 27 April and finishes at Scottburgh on 29 April. Follow on @_sani2c.
For more details or to enter the KAP sani2c nonstop on 13-14 May, visit

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