The team is financially backed by the premium South African carbon fibre bicycle wheels manufacturer, Darkhorse Wheels and brokerage Tuttle Insurance Brokers (TIB).
“The new team won’t be just any other professional mountain bike team” commented Shaun-Nick Bester, “because the team will be in collaboration with Bester Performance coaching academy creating a feeder platform for young aspiring school athletes which ultimately will be incorporated into the professional team once they have developed the physical and mental skills needed for racing at an elite level” Said Bester.
The new signings of Team Darkhorse Wheels will consist of Shaun-Nick Bester from Pretoria and Kzn based Andrew Hill.
Shaun-Nick Bester, a prominent ex-professional road cyclist, who competed on the professional European circuit, switched to the mountain bike in October 2017. It was on the gravel where he quickly raced onto the podium and placed 3rd overall at Tour de Plett in his first MTB race. After a successful introduction, Shaun-Nick continued his successes solidifying 19 victories in 2018 including the overall series win for the Nissan Trailseeker marathon series.
The other signing for the team is Andrew Hill. Hill is an experienced professional mountain biker specialising in stage racing and the longer marathon events. Andrew’s notable consistency over the years has culminated in many dependable results. A highlight from Hill was a 3rd on the African Jersey competition at the ABSA Cape Epic in 2014 (placing 11th overall). Along with qualifying for the World Mountain bike marathon championships, his results include an overall Win at the UCI Lesotho sky in 2018 racking up a total of 16 victories for the season.
The tried and tested pair has teamed up on numerous podium successful occasions in 2018. “We have great synergy in our riding capabilities; especially where our strengths are very well matched” Commented Hill. “It also helps that we get along very well, which is probably the most underrated aspect of multi-day stage racing” Said Bester.
The team’s calendar will include all of the major and high publicity mountain bike stage races and one-day classics including:
- ABSA Cape Epic
- Cape Pioneer Trek
- Tankwa Trek
- Berg and Bush
- Great Zuurberg Trek
- Nissan Trailseeker series
- S.A. Marathon championships
Other partners include:
- Momsen bikes
- VYE cycling apparel
- Uvex safety wear
- Ryders eyewear