South African ultra-endurance and marathon mountain biker and SPOT athlete, Timothy Hammond, will officially be crowned the first South African Epic Legend, when he completes the New Zealand Pioneer Mtb race later this month.
“The reality that I could soon be South Africa’s first Epic Legend hasn’t really sunk in for me yet,” explains Timothy. “I lined up for the start of the FNB Wines2Whales at Lourensford last week for the first time since the ABSA Cape Epic used to finish there many years ago. Back then there was a small race on the last day of Epic called Vigne a Vigne. It was before I started racing seriously and can recall very clearly waiting for the leaders of the Epic to come in after our small race around Lourensford had finished. I remember being in complete awe of them and wondering if I would ever be capable, or get the chance to finish a Cape Epic one day. I stood there on the start of day 1 of W2W last week with 3 Cape Epics under the belt and on the verge of becoming the first South African to complete the series. I really had to calm myself down. Being able to ride the best trails in Switzerland, New Zealand and South Africa is a real blessing, too stoked!”
Founder and CEO of the Epic Series, Kevin Vermaak says he feels very proud that Timothy will be the first South African to take this title. ““With the Epic Series, we’ve created a global community of like-minded athletes who want to challenge themselves and their teammates on the world’s most iconic mountain biking terrain. Any rider who has conquered the Swiss Alps, New Zealand’s backcountry wilderness or the untamed African Absa Cape Epic has passed the ultimate test of any mountain biker,” says Kevin. “To complete all three Epic Legend Races deserves the utmost respect of the mountain biking community and of course the coveted Epic Legend medal. It’s always a proud moment for me when a South African achieves something great. We are holding thumbs for Tim as he aims to complete the final leg at The Pioneer this month.”
Becoming an Epic Legend was not a title Timothy ever thought he would be able to add to his belt, mainly because he didn’t think it would be financially possible for him to complete all three events. “When I met Sean McCormick from SPOT Africa a few years ago, it didn’t occur to me that his Botswana based company would very soon become a leader in satellite based tracking; that would eventually become integral to the Epic series,” says Timothy. “I am very proud to have been part of SPOT’s growth in the sport and will forever be grateful for the opportunities they have given me to race around the world.”
Despite injuries and falls during 2018 Timothy has still achieved great results, setting a new course record with his cycling partner, Ben Melt Swanepoel, at Trans Baviaans, of 7hrs52min. “I learnt a great deal this year from Ben Melt and Arno du Toit about the true value that you have whilst racing with a team mate,” says Timothy. “The dynamics in team events are way more important than I ever realised. You are capable of achieving so much more when you and your partner look after each other sacrificially.”
Timothy has big plans for 2019, where he and his racing partner, Alan Gordon, will be backed up a fully supported racing crew thanks to SPOT Africa and Insect Science, a biological pest control company from South Africa, to take on their goal races of Attakwas, Tankwa Trek, ABSA Cape Epic, JoBerg2c, Swiss Epic and Cape Pioneer Trek.
To follow Timothy’s journey on twitter @timothy_hammond or through the SPOT Africa social media pages –
Website - Africa.FindMeSpot.com
Facebook - @SPOTinAfrica
Instagram - @spotafrica