On the Trail with Letshego Zulu

Join us on an awe-inspiring journey with Letshego Zulu, a name etched in history as the first black woman to conquer the Absa Cape Epic. But her story doesn’t stop there. Letshego is a force of nature, a beacon of strength, and a testament to the power of determination. She is also a mother, business woman in outdoor media and the proud owner of Echelon Bike Transport. Her book, “I Choose to Live: Life after losing Gugu,” stands as a testament to her courage and resilience in the face of adversity.
I sat down with Letshego to chat about her recent completion of the Waterberg Traverse in Limpopo. Her enthusiasm for the ethos of the race is infectious, but that’s not all. Letshego opens up about her exhilarating journey as a runner-up in Survivor SA, offering a raw and intimate glimpse into the mental fortitude required to navigate the challenges of the wilderness. Discover the catalyst behind Letshego’s four-time conquest of the Absa Cape Epic as she recounts the pivotal moment when her husband, Gugu, presented her with the opportunity. It was the prospect of breaking barriers as a black woman in the race that ignited her passion, propelling her to new heights of achievement. Reflecting on her whirlwind experience at the Absa Cape Epic 2024, she shares the heart-pounding moment when she received a last-minute invitation just 48 hours before the race. Her resilience and determination shine through as she navigated the gruelling terrain with unwavering resolve, making the race cut off by only 1 second.
She leaves us with a poignant tale of her daughter’s experience in acrobatics, a reminder of the invaluable lessons we can learn from the resilience of youth. Join us for a captivating conversation filled with laughter, and passion. Above all, Letshego’s remarkable journey will leave you inspired to conquer your own mountains, both on and off the trails.

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Mauritian Cyclist Kim Le Court: A Journey of Triumph  

This week, professional cyclist Kim Le Court (Pienaar) joins the show to share her cycling journey. Born in Mauritius, Kim has won the Cape Town cycle tour three times, the Cape Epic, gold medals at the African Games and at the African road Championships and today she races on the Ag Insurance – Soudal team.
Kim fills us in on cycling life on the island of Mauritius. From riding on the highway (don’t get excited, the highway is small), to drinking coconuts on the sand (does this really happen?) and practicing caution when it comes to people and animals, Mauritian cycling sounds hugely entertaining. We also talk about Kim’s early “pro” years in Europe and her return to South Africa in 2017 when she took a year off and almost didn’t return to the sport she once loved. As a soccer fan and a player, the black and white ball almost led her down another career path, but her return to cycling was inevitable. She takes us into her mental space and her current space as part of the elite women’s peloton. How has she gelled with her new team? And how has she found the classics and tours this season, including her 10th place finish in Paris – Roubaix? Also, relive the emotional moment with Kim, when our favourite manager Natascha Knaven gave her the news about joining the team, after Kim had lost hope in the teams’ interest in her signing.

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Natascha Knaven Developing Cycling Talent

Women’s professional cycling has come a long way since I first started watching the sport back in 2009, and over the past year it has made even longer strides. Yet, headlines surrounding gender parity in women’s cycling still remain a stark reminder that more is needed to be done in the sport so many people love and participate in. Which is why I am so thrilled to be welcoming Natascha Knaven – van Ouden, who is the co – founder, sport manager, coach and mentor for the Ag Insurance – Soudal – Quickstep women’s team. Breaking boundaries in the sport through her passion for women’s development in cycling, Natascha is a real “tour de force.”

On the show, we discuss the gap between development cycling and the pro – peloton and how Natascha is bridging that gap through her programs and the U-23 development. We also shine a light on the importance of education, internship and work skill success for all the cyclists on her team and how this impacts sponsorship on the bike. Natascha also shares with us about her four daughters’ cycling journey’s and how she herself came in to the realm of co – founding a team with her husband Servais. What does she think of the Tour de France Femme cycling route for 2024, with its climbs and challenges? And how can the future change for the better when it comes to sponsorships, and equal opportunities for women in cycling? Join us for an exuberant conversation on crucial aspects of women’s cycling.

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Empowering Women through Cycling with Ashleigh Moolman Pasio

On She Speaks Sport today, I am joined by the incredible, professional road racing champion Ashleigh Moolman Pasio. Ashleigh has worn the South African national road racing and time trial jersey a number of times. She has ridden the Tour de France Femme, the Giro, Strada Bianchi, the Commonwealth Games, the Tour of Romandie, and many more.

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