SCOTT Sports Africa announced on Thursday that it would not be extending its title sponsorship of the African MTB Team, officially known as SCOTT LCB Factory Racing, beyond 2016.
What started as a support structure by SCOTT back in 2012 for Philip Buys, who got a late call up to compete at the 2012 Olympics in London, grew into one of South Africa’s most successful mountain bike racing teams during the four-year partnership.
In 2013 SCOTT added the ABSA Cape Epic to its key-event list and brought in Matthys Beukes to partner with Buys. The team performed above expectations and won the African Team title.
From then on the SCOTT team added more riders – Gert Heyns in 2014 and Arno du Toit in 2015 – and went on a mission to succeed in cross-country racing, marathon racing and stage racing.
Another two Cape Epic African team titles – and overall stage wins – followed, as did numerous cross-country, marathon and stage race podium finishes. In 2015, LCB (Lead Crystal Batteries) invested in the team as a co-sponsor, offering increased budget and infrastructure and making it possible to employ Ruan Lochner as the full-time team manager/technical support.
“It’s been a very exciting four years. Having been involved with this team from the very beginning and helping it grow into one of the most organised, marketable teams in South Africa is one thing, but offering support to help nurture talented South African racers has been hugely rewarding,” said Phillip Erasmus, marketing manager at SCOTT Sports Africa.
“We feel that after four years we have achieved what we set out to as the title sponsor of African MTB Team. As with any business, we need to look for new areas of potential growth and will still be heavily committed to South African mountain biking going forward.
“I am confident that which ever company takes over as title sponsor of African MTB Team will get significant value from a team of talented young men that have high morals and much potential. I wish the team everything of the best for the future and look forward to their last couple of months with SCOTT,” added Erasmus.