15 January 2024
As the 2024 Absa Cape Epic gains momentum, Absa is intensifying its efforts to promote women's participation in the renowned mountain bike race through its enduring #SheUntamed initiative.
Launched in 2019, #SheUntamed reflects Absa's unwavering commitment to empower and support women, fostering inclusivity and breaking down barriers within the cycling realm.
2024 marks the 20th anniversary of the iconic Absa Cape Epic, and in celebration of this milestone, Absa is taking the #SheUntamed initiative to new heights. The bank is setting a bold goal to assemble a 20 all-women teams as part of Team Absa #SheUntamed 20for20. This commitment will ensure that 50% of the team comprises women of colour, constituting just over a third of the Team Absa peloton. This commitment extends to the Epic Trippers programme with an ongoing all-women Session 1.
Since inception of the #SheUntamed initiative, the bank has seen a remarkable surge in female participation in the race. The number has increased from 36 in its inaugural year to an impressive 146 in 2023. This achievement is largely attributed to Absa's purposeful initiatives, in collaboration with Cape Epic, which includes increased participation of women in the Team Absa line-up.
Tina Venter, Absa Executive for Marketing Operations, says, "The #SheUntamed initiative is a testament to Absa’s commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion in the world of cycling and living up to our commitment to being an active force for good in everything that we do. We are proud to announce the formation of these 20 teams, a significant step towards breaking down barriers and driving great participation of women in the sport. This affirms the banks mission of empowering Africa’s tomorrow, together, one story at a time."
Over the past two decades, Absa has played a pivotal role in the growth of the #SheUntamed initiative, reshaping the landscape of women's cycling by bringing possibilities to those who faced challenges in joining the race. The Absa Cape Epic has become a platform for stories of triumph, camaraderie, and sheer determination, as women from diverse backgrounds unite to conquer the challenging terrains of the Western Cape, forging lifelong friendships and creating unforgettable memories.
The 20 all-women teams comprise both returning members and recruits who are currently undergoing training guided by the #SheUntamed coaches, including the Last Lioness Hannele Steyn, the only woman who has completed all Absa Cape Epics since its inception, alongside Sarah Hill, Erica Green, and Phillimon Sebona. Mentoring the teams are Caroline Matsimela and Remofilwe Moeketsi.
In the coming three months, Absa, in collaboration with its partners, will ensure that the Absa #SheUntamed 20for20 women are well-prepared for the exhilarating and life-changing mountain biking stage race. The bank has partnered with trusted mountain biking coaches, technicians, and nutritionists. The women will also participate in various mountain biking race events as part of their training to test their endurance and readiness.
“Absa is excited to witness the continued growth and success of the #SheUntamed initiative as it paves the way for a more inclusive and diverse landscape in the world of mountain biking. We wish our 20 all-women teams all the best at 2024 Absa Cape Epic scheduled to take place from 17 to 24 March starting at the Prologue, in Lourensford, to the grand finale, in Stellenbosch”, Venter concludes.
For more information, please contact
Absa Group Managing Executive: Group Communications