How sports sponsorship can pay off
Sports sponsorship can be richly rewarding, said Chris Wilkins, CEO of software development specialist DVT, which sponsored Ashleigh Moolman, the winner of last weekend's Pick n Pay Cape Argus Cycle Tour, who explains her race.
Cape-headquartered DVT has been sponsoring Moolman for some time, during which she has won a number of races, culminating in her victory in the Pick n Pay Cape Argus Cycle Tour 2012.
"This is what the Cycle Tour is all about; people from all walks of life, all ages, genders, races and nationalities coming together to take part in the biggest timed cycling event in the world. It is the camaraderie, scenery and spirit of the event that makes it so special!"
"It is a great honour to win the Cycle Tour and of course I am very happy to have won my first Argus yesterday, but having said that, my victory is somewhat bittersweet!" said Moolman.
One of the most exciting talents
"Ashleigh is one of the most exciting talents to emerge on the cycling scene," said Wilkins, also a keen cyclist. "We are privileged to be supporting her in her cycling career. This shows that a relatively small investment can lead to greatness."
"Together with some men, I raced aggressively for the entire length of the event. My intention was to try split up the large start bunch, in order to make the finish sprint that much safer. Unfortunately, we were not successful in doing so. The nature of the course and the large bunch made it very hard for a breakaway to get away and stay away to the finish line," Moolman said.
Danger of a big bunch
"Approaching the finish line, I was very aware of the dangers of a big bunch. We had three different race categories (Elite Women, Mens' 40+ and 50+ vets) all going for the win. Bunch sprints are always dangerous, no matter what the race situation and I found myself praying, especially in the last 10km, for my safety and the safety of all the riders around me.
"Nearing the finish line, I saw a great opportunity. One of the men started his sprint quite long. The bunch became strung out, I managed to place myself fourth wheel and when the eventual Veteran Men's winner launched his sprint, I came off his wheel to launch mine. I set my focus on the finish line and was completely oblivious to what was happening behind me. I had no idea of the carnage happening in the peloton, taking about 20 cyclists down, including all three of my teammates."
DVT will continue sponsoring Moolman, and helping ensure she develops her cycling career.