Team RE:CM, one of South Africa's leading professional mountain bike racing outfits, has announced its line-up for 2013, which includes 2012 Cape Epic champions Erik and Ariane Kleinhans. The married couple won the highly competitive mixed category title at this year's edition of the Cape Epic after having finished second in 2011.
Another new rider on the team is Lourens Luus, a 21-year-old racer from South Africa's Mpumalanga province who has shown immense potential during 2012. Elite men's racer Waylon Woolcock remains on the squad and completed the four-rider roster.
"We've decided to focus on marathons and stage races only this year and believe we have a very talented line-up," said Malcolm Lange of Lange Sports, the company that owns and manages Team RE:CM. "Besides being the most formidable team in mixed category stage racing, Erik and Ariane bring individual strength too.
"Erik will race in elite men in marathons where he will provide experienced, reliable backing to Waylon and Lourens, while Ariane has shown she's one of the best female marathon racers in the country and among the best in the world."
Ariane, a Swiss national, but resident in South Africa, claimed the 2012 MTN South African National Marathon Series women's title. Of the five events she contested in the prestigious series, she won three and finished second in the other two.
"We are extremely excited about joining Team RE:CM. Our previous teams have been fantastic, but have been more regionally focussed. Team RE:CM is a national team with an excellent support structure, a step up for us for certain," said Erik Kleinhans.
"Our primary goal for 2013 is to win the mixed title again at the Cape Epic, but we plan to also compete in other high profile stage races such as joBerg2c, Sani2c, Cape Pioneer Trek and possibly TransAlp. Marathon races will obviously also be a high priority for us, starting with Attakwas in January," he said.
"Although still very young in endurance sport terms, Lourens produced some very good results in marathon races in 2012. We have moved him to Stellenbosch to be with the other members of the team and into an inspirational, structured training environment. We've not placed any pressure on him for 2013 as he's still young, but with his commitment and talent we may seem him shine brighter than expected," said Lange.
Luus finished fifth overall in the 2012 Nissan Trailseeker Marathon Series and won the 2012 MTN National Marathon Series, recording four wins, two second places and a seventh place in the seven events he contested. In 2013, he will move up to the ultra-marathon distance events where there's that option.