Manitou | Rockrider World Champ
Samara Maxwell - U23 World Champ

South Africa calls and theTorpado KendaFactory responds to the roar of the most famous and challenging mountain bike race,the Cape Epic scheduled from 17 to 24 March.In recent weeks the team has worked intensely to prepare one of the most important events of this season, everything had to be ready for the South African stage race, a great opportunity for growth but also a huge showcase. 

Manitou | Rockrider World Champ

Three athletes will represent the entire team and its partners in an 8-day event in the wildest of contexts, between desert areas and the most iconic ones of the African continent. 

A work of attention to detail, adaptation and search for the best setup as well as the most suitable composition of the representative. In South Africa the team will be represented by three athletes who make up a complete main team with the Italian champion Diego Rosa who will race together with Casey South , the couple who led the team to its first victory of the season at the Andalusia Bike Race. The two athletes developed a great understanding during the Spanish stage race, they learned to know each other and win together, they will be the standard bearers of the team, with great objectives. Jakob Dorigoni will be part of a second backup team, he makes up a mixed pair with Daniel Geismayr and together they will give their support to the main team, their form is as high as the forces on the pitch and they will be a great point of support. 

During the 8 stages in total, seven plus the initial prologue, the athletes will face high mileages and mixed stages in a context of unique beauty, crossing natural parks, vineyards and desert areas. 

For the team it is not the first time in South Africa, in 2014, the then Torpado Factory won a stage with Riccardo Chiarini and Roel Paulissen. Ten years after that success, the team arrives in the far south of the world with more experience, a more organized and ambitious team. 

The three bearers of the Torpado Kenda Factory are motivated , all three at their first South African experience, but with great results and experience behind them. The athletes will be under the world spotlight for almost 2 weeks, followed by drones and filming helicopters, the goal will be to become legend and they are ready to give their all. 

The words of the team manager,Sandro Lazzarin: "The Cape Epic represents a great success even for a team manager, I believe that being at the Cape where all the most important teams in the world are present is a highly coveted goal. It is not for nothing that it is considered the Tour de France of mountain biking, you can't say you're doing a marathon if you don't take part in the Cape Epic. It's a grueling race and the management and organization are also very important. For us this event is focal and we believe it's important even with the brands that support us that can be there in the fray together with all the most important in the world"Diego Rosa's comment: “Leaving for the Cape is really cool, it's one of those events that I've been following since I was a junior.The sensations are like when I left for my first Giro d'Italia, you have a great desire to do well but also a hint of uncertainty because you don't know what awaits you, this makes me feel young again”. Casey South's comment: “The first Cape Epic means a lot to me, it's a dream come true.I want to thank the team for making all this possible and for the organization behind it.I'm up for the challenge." Jakob Dorigoni's comment: “The Cape is the most important race I have ever participated in, doing it for the first time means that a further personal step has been taken but also by the team, I can't wait and I am very motivated. ”  The Cape Epic will be broadcast live every day on the event's official YouTube channel at this link.(

We invite everyone to follow and support the team through the official social channels @torpadokendafactory for stage-by-stage updates. 

Let the adventure begin!

Eight days in the most impervious and remote context that mountain biking can encounter, in which fighting tooth and nail at every moment of the day remains inside you. We experienced first-hand whythe Cape Epic is considered the toughest competition in the world, the Torpado Kenda Factory had gone with clear ideas, to influence the race with two of the strongest athletes, Casey South and Diego Rosa, but an unfortunate series of vicissitudes transformed our ambitions and the team was able to count on the second pair, a mixed one created together with the Wilier Vittoria team which included the youngest of the expedition, Jakob Dorigoni. Together with Daniel Geismayr, an experienced athlete, they grew over the stages until they fought for the top 5 of the stage and finished in tenth position in the general classification.

The Cape Epic is a race completely different from the others due to its terrain, obstacles, rhythms and unpredictable dynamics. The athletes encountered one of the most characteristic and unpredictable conditions of these remote places, a dust that does not exist in any other place visited on a mountain bike. The helicopters that flew over the route for every second of each stage, the wild nature to always take into account and extreme heat conditions. 

The first three stages put the athletes in a corner, in the Tulbagh district, after the prologue in Stellenbosch the boys had to deal with some problems that did not allow them to advance in the rankings and aim for results, one of the most remote places on earth has put everyone to the test. In all of this, despite the departures at 7 in the morning, adapting to temperatures that reached 40 degrees consumed even more energy.

In the third stage, with a long initial climb and a valley on the central plain, the fall of the Italian champion Diego Rosa put the team faced with a situation they were not hoping for. The bad fall which occurred at very high speed in the South African dust forced the Italian to abandon the race to immediately try to recover and limit the damage.

From this experience Torpado Kenda has learned a lot, about the reliability of its Cape Epic-proof products and about a cohesive team, which has grown in structure, condition and balance. The team would like to thank all the partners who support the activity, who supported the boys and the team in these two extreme weeks. It was exciting to experience all of this and with great determination the team is already looking to next year with thedesire to bring the shirt and all the partners at the top levels of this competition.

The statements of the finisher Jakob Dorigoni , 10th in the general classification: “In the last stages I grew further even if we were all really tired. I'm happy, it was a very important experience for me, now I know what it takes to face this race, certainly at the next experience I would start slower so as not to have the drop in the middle of the week". 

Casey South from outcast fulfilled a dream: “ Participating in the Cape Epic is a dream come true , I want to thank the team who gave us the opportunity to compete here and the great commitment behind it. In the first stages we tried to limit the damage, I tried to make the best trajectories for Diego on the descent and in the corners, he suffered a lot. In the 2nd and third stage we tried to stay in front, I felt good and Diego also made good paces uphill. The conditions are merciless here, the terrain alternates between sand and rocks but the sand is slippery, it is not grainy and in the descent of the third stage, Diego fell violently at a very fast pace. I continued alone out of the rankings, in the sixth stage I simulated a race pace in agreement with my trainer. I really hope I can come back next year and do better.”

Team manager Sandro Lazzarin sums up this experience: “The outcome of this first Cape Epic is not super positive, we were unlucky with Diego's fall but we learned a lot and it was a useful experience for the boys. We have learned that the terrain is hard and difficult, a true testing ground for the materials of all the brands that support us from Torpado, Kenda, Hayes and all the other technical partners . However, we achieved some good placings and the final one with Jakob Dorigoni, we are sure that the boys could stay in front and we would have done so, without the crash, with at least top5 potential. For the first time we also tested the entire group with the staff and even in difficult moments we managed to come together."

Mandatory photo credit: Nick Muzik/Sam Clark - Cape Epic