The Race Must Go on!

Tour de Farm is one of the biggest mountain bike races

By Catrien Muller

In South Africa PigCHAMP is represented by Alzu Enterprises t/a Alzu pig genetics group in Middelburg. Despite the global pandemic in 2020, Alzu Enterprises was able to host its 9th annual charity mountain bike race, called the Alzu Tour de Farm.

The Alzu Tour de Farm Mountain Bike Race started in 2012 as a small event. Little did we know that this event and the funds that it generates, would save lives 9 years later . The main beneficiaries of this event are the Fund for Underprivileged from two local schools, Middelburg Primary School and Middelburg Hoërskool. Middelburg Care Village, the local orphanage became the third beneficiary in 2016 by selling “Care Rider” VIP packages.

Tour de Farm child on bicycle next to adult male on bicycle Tour de Farm adult male doing a wheelie on bicycle

The year 2020 has brought an immense amount of change to the world as we know it. The Covid-19 pandemic rapidly changed the way we live and South Africa was in different states of lockdown throughout the year which has severely crippled the economy. However, it is the underprivileged in our society that have been left in a state of desperation. The youngsters from these disadvantaged communities, have been left in dire need of assistance to be able to complete their schooling and provided with the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Tour de Farm adult male on bicycle, many riders in the background Tour de Farm adult male on a bicycle crossing a wooden bridge

This event is held annually at the Alzu N4 Petroport with a track that runs through the Alzu and neighbouring farms, starting, and finishing in the Tour de Farm Tent Village exhibition area. The race is not only known as the fastest mountain bike race in South Africa but is also a family event with four distance categories: 80km, 35km, 15km and a kiddie race for children. With more than 1,000 cyclists at each of our last 5 events, and with very attractive prize money that draw competitive riders from all over the country, Tour de Farm is one of the biggest mountain bike races in Mpumalanga.

 Tour de Farm many riders at start line waiting for race to begin Tour de Farm group of riders at start line cheering at the camera

We were astonished by the good-hearted people in our community that opened their hearts and wallets to support this cause during the pandemic. Thanks to our generous sponsors, mainly from the agricultural and local community, the beneficiaries of this race were able to support those in need. The schools were able to provide food parcels to families where parents had lost their income. They were also able to provide clothing, stationary, and the necessary medical resources to children in need and the children’s mental well-being was also supported.

This cause is close to our hearts and we see it as an opportunity and our responsibility to give back to our local community. We are very thankful for all the sponsors and contributors to this event. They are real angels, providing comfort in the times of desperate need.

Catrien Muller
Catrien Muller is Data Management and Import/Exports Coordinator for PIC – Alzu Pig Genetics since 2016. Catrien provides excellent customer service assisting their PigCHAMP clients. She is also responsible for export of live animals into African countries as well as importation of frozen semen into Africa.