The Toyota team consists of Amabubesi riders Danie Smit and partner Kobie Pruis, now riding in their fifth consecutive Epic. Fellow Toyota employee John Thomson and partner Duncan Bowman will also be competing for the third time.
What makes the Toyota team so unique is the participation of the Toyota Senior Vice President, Mr Andrew Kirby, who will be competing with his wife, Cindi. “I am a very passionate cyclist, and had absolutely no hesitation in getting behind the Toyota brand and driving it all the way.”
Also joining Team Toyota is previous Absa Cape Epic rider, Jeremy Thomson (ex-Sharks rugby professional), first-time rider Michael Mol (Top Billing
presenter and Sportron CEO) and Shaun Bartlett (ex-Bafana Bafana striker). Thomson and Mol will make up one team, whilst Bartlett and trainer Bruce Diesel will make up the other.
Bartlett is “more excited than nervous” at the upcoming challenge. “It's a long road ahead, but I have an outstanding partner and trainer, and am thoroughly looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead. I have heard so many wonderful things about this race, and I have always thrived on new learnings and different experiences. It goes without saying that soccer is my first love, but at the same time, I am looking forward to participating in a different sport for once.”
The now professional television sports guest is not too concerned with his fitness. "It's been a while since I have trained at the intensity level required, however that break has given me a greater desire to get back into it and I look forward to learning more about the nutritional and exercise side of this ever-growing sport.”
Toyota's partnership with Cycle Lab will see expert Andrew McLean join the Toyota team and join forces with the three celebrities and guide them for this magnificent race.
A CSI donation will be made to the Toyota SuperCycling Academy on behalf of the two celebrity teams of R100 per kilometre for every one of the 722km completed in the race.