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World Cup winner Chester to ride Epic

World Cup rugby winner Chester Williams will be riding what is known as the world’s largest timed stage cycle race, the Absa Cape Epic.

The 1995 World Cup winner, rugby coach, and more recently, rugby movie ‘Invictus’ on-set rugby adviser, will be riding in support of the JAG Foundation.

He made his debut for the Springboks in 1993 at age 23. Twenty-seven games in the coveted green and gold and 14 tries later, Williams retired from professional rugby and started coaching shortly thereafter. Riding his very first Epic, Chester will partner with cycling veteran and Team Absa Manager, Ernst Viljoen. Both a business and family man, Ernst will be riding his fourth Cape Epic, come March.

ÔÇ£Chester and I are from the same neck of the woods in the Winelands and when Breyton Paulse joked that we should ride together, it got me thinking. We are certainly a unique pair and that makes for very exciting sports,ÔÇØ said Absa Team Manager Viljoen.

Riding as early as 4.30am in the morning as well as extended rides on weekends, the duo are committed to finishing strong. Viljoen’s knowledge and experience coupled with Chester’s discipline and agility make them, without a doubt, a team to watch in the 2010 Absa Cape Epic.

ÔÇ£I survived Jonah Lomu and the All Blacks in 1995 and with Ernst’s patience, know-how and expertise, I’m confident that we’ll come out on the other side smiling. With loads of support from friends and family and knowing we are riding for the JAG Foundation, I am eager and inspired to do my very best,ÔÇØ said┬á Williams.

Though dedicated to their training and preparations, both Williams and Viljoen are firm believers in balance. They encourage fellow riders to go hard in practise, familiarising themselves with the technical aspects of riding but also emphasise rest, recuperation, and downtime with family as top priorities.

When asked about their biggest challenge for this year’s Epic, both Williams and Viljoen replied, ÔÇ£Crossing the finish line on day eight, side by side!ÔÇØ

Chester and Ernst along with other top local celebrities will be donning their helmets at this year’s Absa Cape Epic as JAG AllStars. Initiated in 2009, the JAG AllStars supporters club invites South Africans to join local sports stars to help inspire and encourage South Africa’s youth through sport. For more information on how to get involved, visit www.jagfoundation.org.za/jagallstars or contact [email protected]

For those not participating in the full race, there is a call for entries into the one day mountain bike race, the MTN Cape Times Vigne a Vigne. Interested riders can register online at www.vigne-a-vigne.com. The Cape Times Lourensford Vineyard Run is a unique 11 km trail running race. The Vineyard Run (also on 28 March 2010) will start at 08:30, providing participants with beautiful vistas and numerous climbs through the idyllic and picturesque Lourensford Wine Estate.

Live entertainment for the entire family, including wine tasting, magnificent scenery and the finest food and wine will be on offer at the finish at Lourensford Wine Estate, as well as the opportunity to see the ever popular Watershed in action. Entrance is free.


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