Having developed a strong affinity with mountain biking, former Proteas cricketer Gary Kirsten will add the seven-day TransCape race to his bucket list next year.
While cricket remains his core business, Kirsten said he became interested in cycling four years ago when a friend invited him to ride the Wines2Whales.
“The appeal for me is to ride mountain trails, which I do mostly on my own,” said the 49-year-old Kirsten.
Known as a determined and gritty batsman who could occupy the crease for lengthy periods, Kirsten said he saw parallels between cycling and cricket.
“Mostly there is the endurance factor, because they both take a long time. There is also an element of danger to both, which keeps one alert.”
He added that doing multi-stage races was high on his wish list and he looked forward to adding the TransCape to his resume.
Starting in Knysna, the annual seven-day event presented by ASG Events will take riders on a 614km journey through some of the most iconic trails in South Africa, finishing in Franschhoek on February 10.
He is one of a number of former national sports stars competing in cycling races around the country, including ex-Springboks John Smit and Joel Stransky.
“My good friend Alan Dawson (former Cape Cobras allrounder) is also a keen cyclist. He has completed two Cape Epics and is one of the first ex-cricketers I have become aware of taking up the sport seriously.”
Former provincial cricketer Billy Stelling has also made his mark, winning the solo men’s title in this year’s TransCape in February.