I believe in having goals, and working towards them, but some ‘bucket list’ goals end up steering you on a path that can take the enjoyment away, and make it, well, hard work. – By Roxanne Martin
Organisers have proudly unveiled the awe-inspiring route for the exclusive 2022 Nedbank Tour de Tuli, the internationally acclaimed mountain bike tour, and one-of-a-kind wilderness adventure that traverses three countries, namely South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Botswana. Kicking off on 19 July, the Tour serves as the primary fundraiser for Children in the Wilderness (CITW), Wilderness Safaris’ non-profit partner, which facilitates sustainable conservation through leadership development and education of rural children in Africa.
Each year, the route is tailored to ensure that the Tour remains exciting and continues to incorporate new regions and cultural sites. This year’s route will once again traverse the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area. Upholding its 16-year tradition, the riders predominantly follow ancient elephant trails and rural tracks, allowing participants the opportunity to experience cultural interactions with villagers, while also spotting wildlife against the backdrop of Africa’s unspoiled natural wilderness – a once-in-a-lifetime bucket list journey.
Starting and ending at the World Heritage Site in South Africa, the riding route takes adventure-seekers through two protected wilderness areas – the Northern Tuli Game Reserve, in Botswana, and the multi-country Mapungubwe National Park. Riders cover between 60 km and 85 km per day, over a course of four consecutive days, by which time they will have covered approximately 300 km of mountain biking trails.
“As the sole beneficiary of the Tour, the Children in the Wilderness programme is an environmental and life skills, educational initiative for children that is focused on producing the next generation of decision-makers. The programme is intended to inspire them to care for their natural heritage and to become the custodians of these areas in the future,” noted Tour Director, Bronwen Blunden.
Bronwen points out that corporate sponsorship remains the backbone for the work done by CITW, which primarily focuses on the natural heritage within communities to develop proactive skills and leadership for children. It utilises an organised structure covering mentor training, Eco-Clubs, annual educational camps, youth stewardship programmes and scholarships for schooling and tertiary education.
“Nedbank is proud to have been associated with this unique and exciting African adventure for the past decade. Supporting the Tour and the work done by CITW aligns directly with the ethos of our brand, and we are actively involved in supporting surrounding communities,” added Kelly Thompson, Sponsorship Manager at Nedbank
Conservation remains top of mind for Nedbank, and all funds raised by the Tour de Tuli are channeled into the CITW programme, helping to ensure the sustainability of the programme across all the regions within which it operates.
“Over the last 15 years, the Tour has hosted approximately 3 900 participants and raised over R20 million for CITW. This, in turn, has enabled over 5 600 children to be hosted on our CITW camp programme, and over 11 000 children on the Eco-Club programme,” commented Grant Woodrow, COO of Wilderness Business Development and Children in the Wilderness South Africa board member.
This world-class mountain bike tour is renowned for the unique experience it offers, riding through some of Africa’s most pristine wildlife and geologically rich areas. The event follows strict environmental practices, working with communities and traversing unforgettable routes, allowing participants to fully immerse themselves in their amazing wilderness surroundings.
I already knew the great reputation of 2XU products, but I was still blown away by the new 2XU Compression Full Zip Sleeved Trisuit. Here’s what I found after putting it through its paces, in swim, bike and run tests. – by Alistair Cronk
You don’t just claim to be the World’s Best Technical Sportswear brand for nothing… and the latest Trisuit from 2XU pulls out all the stops! The Compression Full Zip Sleeved Trisuit has all the features a triathlete could ask for, and nothing has been spared to provide athletes with the best possible trisuit on the market. The manufacturer has used an array of different fabrics to give you the best possible fit, feel and comfort while still providing you with a world-class product!
The 2XU brand, pronounced Two Times You, has been around since 2005. Launched in Melbourne, Australia and starting out as a specialist run and triathlon brand, 2XU is particularly renowned for its compression wear, but all its technical gear is top class, and thus I was really excited to be asked to test this new trisuit.
At First Glance
In life, I have always believed that if you look good, you feel good. Holding this trisuit in my hands for the first time, I could just feel the quality. The entire suit has been designed and manufactured to the highest standards, and I could not wait to try it on.
I will admit that I was a little sceptical about the compression at first, wondering how I was going to get into the Trisuit, but boy, what a fit! It feels instantly comfortable thanks to its panelled cut and flatlock stitching. Also, it’s supportive without being restrictive, and offers more freedom of movement than you might expect. With the jacket top and full zip, it makes getting the suit on and off even easier, especially for those ‘nature breaks.’
The Suit Essentials
Part of the Trisuit is made of Swiss Vent fabric, which was designed and created in accordance with 2XU’s testing by RMIT University. This material’s matrix knit allows the Trisuit to breathe while using Coldblack technology to offer protection from the sun on those hot South African race days.
Italian SBR Vent fabric is used on the suit’s arms and chest, designed to provide cooling while still being aerodynamic, with elbow-length sleeves that also give extra protection from the sun. When worn under a wetsuit, I found little to no difference to my stroke, with no pulling on the shoulders giving you that restricted feel. There are two easy-access open pockets on the back that will hold your race-day nutrition.
While the top is already enough to blow your mind, it’s when you move down to the shorts that the real difference comes in… The breathable, aerodynamic material selection is complimented by the added feature of compression, provided by the latest 105D Power Mesh, which allows for greater power output and less muscle oscillation, and thus reduced muscle fatigue during all three legs of a triathlon.
Secondly, the pad is always an important element of a trisuit, especially on those longer races, and the inclusion of the PRO LD Chamois, which is a multi-layered design with low water-absorption foam made in Italy exclusively for 2XU, gives this suit still better performance!
Put to the Test
I was impressed with the Trisuit in the water, both with and without a wetsuit. There was no feeling of drag and hindrance during the swim, and the compression around the legs in the water opened a whole new world, allowing me to deliver a stronger kick. So, when those races with the “no wetsuit swim” come round, this trisuit will deliver, allowing you to glide through the water without the usual feeling of drag or speed-loss.
On the bike, I found the pad to be comfortable for those long sections while on the bars, and although the compression felt a little restrictive at first while in this position, it soon loosened up a little to allow me to perform at my best. On my runs – and once again I can’t stress this enough – the compression around the legs made me feel like I can go harder for longer.
Testing it during the hotter days of early spring, I found the Trisuit kept me cool, and I have no doubt that it will be great to race in it during our hot summer days. I know this because I tested the suit in the heat of the day, and found that I never experience that overheating feeling, but if you are one of those athletes that runs a little on the hot side, the full zip allows for extra cooling.
The correct size of suit is always important, and I found this snug-fitting suit to have no flapping, but it still felt comfortable at the same time. Furthermore, the cleverly designed panelling makes this suit both fast and comfortable. Chaffing was non-existent, as the suit panelling, stitching and the soft edges of the pad and all designed with the athlete in mind. I am not saying you should throw the ‘speed grease’ away, but test the Trisuit for yourself and you’ll see how smooth and comfortable it is.
I have raced both long- and short-course races, full and half Ironman events, and I have not come across a suit to top the 2XU Compression Full Zip Sleeved Trisuit. This is by far the most comfortable and rewarding trisuit I have tried. Of course, in order to properly review a product, you do need to point out any downsides, and the only one I could find was that I think the pockets on the back could be a little bigger, especially for the brands that offer bigger gels.
But after having tested the 2XU Compression Full Zip Sleeved Trisuit, I would not hesitate in recommending this trisuit to all levels of triathlete. The 2XU diehard fans have probably got their Trisuit on order already, but for those looking for a new trisuit, this would be the one. With its technical and protective fabrics, the comfort and outstanding compression performance across all three legs, the 2XU Compression Full Zip Sleeved Trisuit is one of the best trisuits on the market, ideal for all long-course and short-course athletes, and will be one less thing to worry about on race day.
Get it Here
The 2XU Compression Full Zip Sleeved Trisuit retails at R3499 and can be ordered at https://2xu.co.za/collections/trisuits/products/mt5516d-mens-compression-full-zip-sleeved-trisuit