A premium Spanish bike brand has joined forces with the Exxaro mountain biking academy to launch a bike for African conditions at the FNB Wines2Whales.
Four of the academy riders will debut the striking BH African Lynx at the event in October. The coal and heavy minerals mining giant is the official development academy partner to the FNB Wines2Whales.
BH’s South African agent Ray Wilson recently handed over four of the lime green and black mountain bikes to Exxaro in Johannesburg.
So how did the relationship with BH come about?
Wilson explains: “We were on a ride together and Kevin Vermaak asked me if I wouldn’t mind assisting Exxaro develop an affordable, light, dual suspension mountain bike.” Vermaak is the head of Grandstand Management, which organises the FNB Wines2Whales.
After much back and forth between Wilson and Exxaro in South Africa and the Spanish manufacturers, the BH African Lynx was born – a top-end carbon fibre cross country bike.
“After deliberation with the Exxaro team we ended up going for a carbon frame with tougher components. The final product is dubbed the ‘African Lynx’,” says Wilson. “I hope that as time passes the Exxaro/BH Spain partnership will strengthen beyond BH South Africa.”
“In my view there is always place for a quality European brand of car, bike, motorcycle or appliance in South Africa.”
BH has bikes in all the major international events, from the Tour de France to the UCI World Cup Cross Country mountain bike series.
In South Africa “e-bikes remain the core”, says Wilson. “We will soon have an African Lynx e-bike to take on the toughest Africa can deliver.”
“This is great news,” said Vermaak. “Exxaro’s mountain biking academy has played a fundamental role in introducing new communities to the sport. It has also helped academy members to develop lifestyle skills and prepared them to play productive roles in society.”
Exxaro originally partnered with the Cape Epic as its official development academy partner in August 2011 and since then its riders have been increasingly successful at the eight-day event.
There will be a total of 18 Exxaro teams in the Shiraz event from 2 to 4 November at the FNB Wines2Whales. “We are rooting for them all – the Exxaro riders have become a special part of the MTB landscape and we look forward to them performing well next week,” said Vermaak.