Team Robe MegaPointe at the Cape Epic

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The Absa Cape Epic is not for the faint-hearted! For the second consecutive year, Robe Lighting and DWR Distribution were honoured to sponsor a team in this extreme mountain bike race hosted from 18 to 25 March 2018. Congratulations to South Africans Pierre Griffioen and Robert Izzett of Team MegaPointe. With Robert’s refueling of his energy levels at the watering points, we salute him and Pierre as true sportsmen, our heroes. Without hesitation or discussion, they embraced the true spirit of sportsmanship, putting aside an easier ride to help a fellow rider – as we often see with athletes participating in the Comrades Marathon who drag fellow athletes across the finish line. Team MegaPointe, you are true “Chariots of Fire”.

Last year, Team Spiider became a favourite for photographers as Pierre Griffioen (from rental company Pure Event Gear), and Fritz Pienaar became known for Fritz’s wheelies. This year, the Robe team again received publicity as Team MegaPointe helped a rider who had damaged his bike. Izzett, an invaluable member of DWR Distribution, stopped after he had a gruelling 100 kilometers in his legs, to assist and lifted the rider on his own bike and as a result, this heart-warming video has gone viral:


Pierre Griffioen and Robert Izzett of Team MegaPointe


“Robe is keen to support local, regional and global sporting activities, with mountain biking among our favourites, so we really appreciate this great opportunity in South Africa,” said Josef Valchar, CEO at Robe. “We admire and appreciate the intense efforts, thorough preparation and sheer tenacity and stamina of riders involved in all categories of this invigorating sport. Particularly in meeting the challenges of the Cape Epic the toughest mountain bike competition in the world!

Covering 658km, to say this eight-day challenge is tough is an underestimate. This year a stomach bug hit many of the riders in the competition and caused them to pull out. “It was an Epic full of emotions, laughter, joking, pranks, pain and the famous stomach bug visited me on Stage 1,” said Griffioen. “My partner Robert helped me through that stage, as well as on another stage, giving a guy a lift towards the end of a day despite having more than 100kms in his own legs. That effort awarded us the “Conqueror as One” jersey for the day! Well done Robsta!”

But as the days went on, the roles reversed and this time Griffioen encouraged Izzett up mountains. and through obstacles that sometimes felt both physically and mentally destroying. “Pierre was a machine on the last few days when I was absolutely exhausted,” said Izzett. “He was a slave driver and would not let me eat at the water points, which was one of my highlights. In the end, we ended up being a great team even though Pierre is a stronger rider than I am. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done and it was really nice to reach the finish line.”

The results are really fantastic. In the Overall Mens’ Result, Team MegaPointe finished in 155th place. In total, they spent 39 hours, 28 minutes and 43 seconds in the saddle.

“The boy really achieved a fantastic result overall,” said Pavel Němec, Robe Global Marketing Manager. Duncan Riley from DWR agrees, “What a race! I was really proud of Pierre and Robert. We tried to follow them every step of the way and they never gave up. Well done and thank you that we could be part of this.”

The Robe Lighting factory is based in the Czech Republic. Good news for Josef Valchar of Robe is that the winning team at the Epic was Team InvestecSongoSpecilized. This team comprised of professional athlete Jaroslav Kulhavy (33) from the Czech Republic and his partner, Howard Grotts from the USA, a professional mountain biker. They completed the race in 25:29:48 – in a league of their own.

“We are very proud to have sponsored Pierre and Robert as Team MegaPointe and BIG congratulations to them for the achievement,” ended Valchar. “We are also looking forward to May, when we sponsor the Mountain Bike World Cup race in Nove Město na Morave in the Czech Republic, and we will be meeting most of the professional riders throughout that weekend.”


Photos: Sportograf