It’s such a different life to that of a pro mountain bike racer, whose every race is a time trial, whose watts output is not for a team leader or a teammate, but for himself. For Janse van Rensburg and Venter, who are only 32, this will be their focus from 2020 and beyond.
Neither is new to mountain bike racing. In fact, both shone offroad before they were signed to Doug Ryder’s pro road team.
Venter’s early mountain bike career as a teen saw him racing XCO and Downhill and he won a couple of South African XCO titles as a teenager.
“I’ll never forget those early days of racing. I remember battling it out at races for podium places with guys like Burry Stander and John Lee Augustyn and many others that went on to have successful bike racing careers,” says Venter.
“Another mountain bike racing highlight was doing my first Absa Cape Epic with Jacques in 2007 and my second, with Adrien Niyonshuti in 2010 (they finished 21st overall with two-stage top-10 finishes).”
“I’m looking forward to the change. I always wanted to get back to mountain bike racing. I’m sure my endurance from the road will be an advantage; I’m used to three weeks of suffering in a Grand Tour, but I know the Absa Cape Epic is a different story, so I can’t wait to race it again. I’ll need to work on my upper body and core strength, but I’m confident in making the transition,” added Venter.