Sampada Cycling. Providing Opportunity
With the Tour de Limpopo having taken place from Polokwane mid-April, one team in the starting list not lacking in experience was Sampada Cycling. With its mission being to support talented underprivileged riders, Sampada Cycling was possibly the only team in the field boasting two riders with World Tour experience.
That’s right, both Cape Town’s Songezo Jim and Rwandan hero Adrien Niyonshuti spearhead a formidable lineup, which includes South Africans Jan Montshiao, Siyabonga Somciza, Sipumeze Mhlana and Zambian Agoster Jilowa.
It’s been a tough journey for both Songezo and Adrien, both exceptional riders and who both aim to get back to the World Tour. Not that that is a particularly easy process. Far from it actually.
‘Racing in Europe changed me not only as rider, but also as a person,’ said Songezo from the Sampada Cycling training camp recently. ‘Living on the Continent, the travelling and the lifestyle really made me grow as a human being. I want to go back but it is hard getting back on a team there. I’m keeping pushing, though.’
After a less-than ideal 2017 spent with Kuwait-Cartucho.es (‘I didn’t get too many race days last year,’ says Songezo), the man from Masiphumelele is determined to make his mark, both internationally and locally. Not that his circuitous journey to the Tour de Limpopo startline has changed him in any way.
‘I’m still the same old Songezo,’ he says with smile. ‘If you are friend, then you are always friend.