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Johannesburg, 14 August 2019 – PPS, the financial services company which focuses exclusively on providing intelligent financial products and solutions to graduate professionals, held the most successful “Toughest Race on Tar” this year, attracting four hundred riders to the four-day gruelling cycle race.
The annual PPS Panorama Tour in Mpumalanga from 15 to 18 June covered a total of 320km of tough terrain and included 6 400m of ascent via the legendary mountains of Mpumalanga including Kaapmuiden and Spitzkop and parts of the Long Tom Pass.
This year featured the Elite/Professional Category which is a "race within a race" with riders competing for the R40 000 cash prize. The Traditional Tour provided stage prizes and a final prize of R30 000 for the Overall Men’s and Overall Women’s winners.
Andrew Edwards and Calvin Beneke, winners of the Overall Men category reflected on the race and said: “Yes we are very happy to win the event. It is a really good fun racing with a partner and it changes things up and teamwork is needed.”
PPS Brand, Marketing & Communications Executive, Ayanda Seboni remarked on the company’s synergy with the race partnership: "Our involvement in the PPS Panorama Tour matches perfectly with our ethos mutuality, and shared success. Looking after yourself, exercising and being able to participate in things like this means better health in the long run, therefore we courage people to try and live a balanced lifestyle, get involved with events like these and just have fun."
Lynette Burger who came in 2nd place with her teammate Suzan Cronje from Demacon Max Wax in the Overall Women category said: “It was my first time doing the tour and only 9 months after my horror accident where I was hit by a taxi. I was very unsure about doing something so intense, especially knowing the terrain but thought I will give it a go. With my team mate Suzan it was possible, struggled the first day but absolutely loved the tour and will be back next year! Great organisation and vibe!”
Race Director Hendrik Wagener reflects on the 2019 tour, "We'd like to thank all the riders who attended the 14th Edition of the PPS Panorama Tour. The Tour was a great success with little to no safety issues. We want to thank the Mpumalanga Government and the Mpumalanga Department of Culture, Sport and Recreation for their involvement in ensuring the riders enjoyed a safe and memorable tour."
The Mpumalanga Province who focused solely on ensuring a safe race for all participates. The Mpumalanga Province assisted with road marshals and officials, repairs of the roads on route and ambulance services to assist with any injuries.
The number of teams participating increased from 110 teams in 2018 to 181 teams in 2019. The main reasons were the change of dates and vigorous advertisement on various platforms including social media.
"I respect the commitment, perseverance and discipline that comes with this race. It's very similar to the journey towards being a professional. You have to keep pushing when the going gets tough. Like with PPS and its members, this race is about great partnerships,” concludes Ayanda.
The PPS Panorama Tour will be back from the 13 - 16th June 2020. For the latest news and updates, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thepanoramatour or find us on Twitter at @ThePanoramaTour.
Elite Event: Team NAD/Demacon's Barend Burger and Nico Bell finished the race at 00:47:50 successfully stepping onto the podium for the Time Trial.
Traditional Tour: After four all-out stages, the Overall Men's winners were Theuns van der Bank and Christiaan Janse van Rensburg (Hartlief Deli P/B Powerbar SV) followed by Egon Campbell and Marnus Potgieter (Cycle Nation/Bekker Steel) in second at 09:13:51, while Johann Naude and David Labuschagne (Bestmed TBC) were in third at 09:15:05.
Overall Demacon's Carla Oberholzer and Kimberley Le Court De Billot had a clean sweep throughout the PPS Panorama Tour, taking all four stage wins and the Open Women's first prize at 10:09:47 with teammates Suzan Cronje and Lynette Burger second at 10:51:08. Stacey Paul and Gillian Fourie finished third at 11:09:07.
BSC-DDMedia duo Grant Edmiston and Parys Edwards after a back and forth battle rode away with overall win in the Mixed category at 9:27:49. Matthew Stamatis and Samantha Sanders claimed second at 3:09:24, with Lucy James and Gabriel van Deventer finishing third at 9:49:30.
Elite Event: ProTouch Guru PPS duo Calvin Beneke and Andrew Edwards took the top Elite/Pro top spot at 8:53:17, with Casper Kruger and Andries Nigrini finishing second at 8:53:23, and Callum Ormiston and Asher Biggs completing third at 8:54:30.
PPS has more than 200 000 members who enjoy access to a comprehensive suite of financial and healthcare products that are tailored to meet the needs of graduate professionals. PPS is the largest South African company of its kind that still embraces an ethos of mutuality, which means that it exists solely for the benefit of its members. Thus, PPS members with qualifying products share in the profits of PPS Insurance via annual allocations.