The 2022 CCPP Group Dr Evil Classic may have attracted 300 riders from across South Africa, and further afield, but it remains a must-do event for the Plettenberg Bay locals too. Alongside the riders in the Bike Shop Plett kit, like Kevin Evans and Neill Clark, the seaside town is being ably represented by the Kwano Cycling Academy teams. Hailing from the Kwanokathula township, the charity was founded in 2014 and has two teams taking part in the tenth anniversary edition of the race.
“Kwano’s focus is to get kids off the street and onto mountain bikes,” the academy’s coach Sipho Mthembu stated. “We use cycling as a catalyst to uplift historically disadvantaged youngsters from the Kwanokathula community by working with Murray High School. Currently there are 72 children in the programme, including 18 girls.”
“This year has been particularly successful on a cycling front, with Kwano placing third in the Southern Cape High School MTB League,” Mthembu smiled. “Third out of fourteen schools and we even missed the first event of the series.”
The CCPP Group Dr Evil Classic, despite its relaxed nature, is too long for the vast majority of the children in the Kwano programme. Yet, it is a good opportunity for some of the older former members to remain involved and represent the charity at a fund-raising opportunity. Along with the Plett Animal Welfare Society, Growing Upwards Food Security Initiative and Dorothy Broster Children’s Home, Kwano Cycling Academy is one of the beneficiaries of the event.
One of the organisation’s great cycling success stories is Masixole Zondani. Zondani’s talent was recognised through his results at local events and he earned himself a scholarship with Exxaro to study sport’s management in Johannesburg. Alongside his studies Zondani raced to 89th overall in the Absa Cape Epic, with Kabelo Alphues Maduna, for Exxaro RMB 1. It was both riders’ first attempt at the race, where CCPP Group Dr Evil Classic co-founder Leon Evans earned his nickname years ago. They finished third in the Exxaro Jersey competition, in 2022, and are certainly riders to watch for the future.
Another Kwano graduate with a bright future is Iris Anelisa. Anelisa is taking part in his home stage race this week, while taking leave from his job with Gensmart Electrical and Solar Services. The 26-year-old is an installation technician and studying towards academic qualifications to support the practical skills he has developed on the job in the last five years. Given the increasing need for supplementary energy systems and the influx of semigrants to the Garden Route, Anelisa is a shining example for the young riders following in his footsteps.
To find out more about Kwano Cycling Academy and the good work they do follow @kwano_cycling_academy on Instagram or like the Kwano Cycling Academy Facebook page. To keep up to date with all the action from the 2022 CCPP Group Dr Evil Classic follow @drevilclassic on Instagram and like the Dr Evil Classic Facebook page. Friday, 23 September’s, Stage 2 takes place from the Cairnbrogie Mountain Bike Trail Park and includes 55 kilometres of scintillating singletrack packed riding in the Harkerville Forest. For more visit www.drevilclassic.com.
2022 CCPP Group Dr Evil Classic Results:
Stage 1 | Men’s Teams:
- The Bike Shop Plett: Kevin Evans & Neill Clark (2:27:00)
- Sancert Greyhounds: Matt Tippett & Matthew Swart (2:35:41 | +8:41)
- NUK – Dummy Run: William Wertheim Aymes & Jaco Bosman (2:38:21 | +11:21)
Stage 1 | Women’s Teams:
- Honey Custom Apparel: Cherise Willeit & Nicky Giliomee (2:49:53)
- Girls on Fire: Alma & Catherine Colyn (2:50:38 | +45)
- Invicta Ladies: Elizma Kock & Marisca Steyn (3:20:14 | +30:21)
Stage 1 | Mixed Teams:
- First Ascent Cyanosis: Clinton Mackintosh & Brigitte Joubert (2:49:22)
- Jack & Jill: Monica Taylor & Grant Hall (3:03:19 | +13:57)
- Push & Pull: Caren & Dave Mills (3:15:38 | +26:16)