The nine-day mountain bike race, which starts on April 27, runs virtually parallel to the toll route from Heidelberg to the KwaZulu-Natal midlands before continuing on to finish on the coast at Scottburgh.
According to event spokesman Craig Wapnick, the sponsorship will allow organisers to continue improving the 910-kilometre route by building more and more trails and maintaining existing sections. “This partnership further entrenches our emphasis on the route. We aim to provide the ultimate South African stage race with single track trails almost all the way.”
Wapnick said the joint venture fulfilled both the organisers and sponsors’ social responsibility objectives by creating jobs along the route. “We’ve committed to using every bit of the sponsorship for employing local labour throughout the year.”
N3TC PR and communications manager Andrea Visser said the off-road race was the perfect fit for the brand. “N3TC is exceptionally excited about being part of the joBerg2c. It is the ideal partnership as it benefits the mountain bikers and local communities.”
According to Visser, the race was chosen as one of five legacy projects that will form the focus of the company’s corporate social investment contributions. “It fully supports our commitment to job creation, skills development and tourism growth, which are all key economic contributors to community development.”
She said the event was also ideally placed to support the marketing objectives of the N3 Gateway project, a tourism initiative by N3TC aimed at stimulating economic development along the route. Visser said the long-term sustainability was a key factor in N3TC’s decision-making and the company looked forward to building a relationship with the Old Mutual joBerg2c and its participants.
“We want to enable the organisers to provide an excellent route but also allow weekend mountain biking enthusiasts to ride sections in the future, once the development is completed.”
N3TC, which has been involved in mountain biking since 2007, supports various sporting events such as the FedGroup Berg & Bush mountain bike race, N3TC Karkloof Adventure Quest, Global Trader Drak Canoe Challenge and Midmar Mile open-water swim.
“Our belief in supporting these events is based on the principle that the participants use the N3 toll route to access the events and it is our way of giving back to the community and our customers.”
Image: The nine-day Old Mutual joBerg2c mountain bike race will create the “N3 of single track” with the help of toll route concessionaire N3TC. Photo: Kelvin Trautman