Cyclists tour and train in South Africa’s green oasis


Australia’s Orica GreenEDGE cycling team showed they could play as hard as they worked while they were on a training camp in Mpumalanga. South African Daryl Impey served as tour guide, and took his teammates to the Kruger and other awe-inspiring places along the way.

Image description Cycling through Mpumalanga’s mountainous terrain helped the Orica GreenEDGE get an added dimension to their training. (Image: Screengrab via YouTube)

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Priya Pitamber

It is not every day you get to see cyclists show off their dance moves, but that is what Orica GreenEDGE cycling team treated spectators to while having some down time during their training camp in South Africa.

The clip was shot at Crystal Springs Mountain Resort, outside Pilgrims Rest, and in Graskop in Mpumalanga, near South Africa’s border with Mozambique.

They got everyone involved – from schoolchildren to resort staff and anyone else who was around at the time. Orica GreenEDGE is an Australian professional road race cycling team. Launched in January 2011, it competes on the UCI World Tour. The riders were in Mpumalanga in February.

Doing their version of the pop hit Uptown Funk, the teamed donned their colourfully patterned blazers and shirts and showed the lighter side of their personalities off their bicycles. They uploaded the video to YouTube as a “tribute to Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars with our South African twist”.

Cycle training

South African team member Daryl Impey said training in the republic would be an annual event. “The guys are locked in already, they said they love it,” he explained. “And we’re here for a good camp so lots of training and lots of hard work to be done.”

Teammate Canadian Christian Meier joked: “First day, and Impey already asserted his dominance.” Most of the Orica GreenEDGE team decided that Impey definitely had the home advantage, but they agreed it was a good camp.

“It was amazing. It’s really different from a training camp in Europe or Australia or wherever else,” observed Columbian cyclist Esteban Chaves.

The Big 5

But it wasn’t all hard work. The team also got to explore Kruger National Park, where they spotted the majestic lion. Chavez thought they were really lucky to also see elephant and buffalo – in all, they crossed off three of the Big 5 from their must-see list.

Taking a break from the hard work at the OGE training camp in South Africa. #OGEtrains #southafrica #animals #safari

A photo posted by ORICA-GreenEDGE (@orica_greenedge) on

While Impey admitted being a tour guide was not his forte, he reckoned the team relished being in the country. “The guys have really been enjoying South Africa, they enjoy the food and culture,” he said. “A lot of them thought we lived in huts so it was good to show them we have houses.”

Speaking of God’s Window, a lookout point in the province, Impey said: “You get a view of the world from on top there. Probably the best view you’ll see here in South Africa.”