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March 06, 2013

Cape Argus 2013: Which bike will Sir Richard Branson choose?

Jorg Knorr with the KTM mountain bike that Richard Branson could ride in the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour on Sunday. Photo courtesy of Peter Jones

Jorg Knorr is not riding in this year's Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour – but his state-of-the-art bike may be ... ridden by none other than Sir Richard Branson.

Branson, one of the world's favourite billionaires, joins his Virgin Active SA team on Sunday to take on the 109km race. His team is riding world-class KTM bikes, and Branson, known to be a team player, also needs a bike.

And this is where Knorr comes in – he works for KTM Bike Industries, and as an avid cyclist, his new baby is the 29er hardtail carbon bike, a super-lightweight bike worth a whopping R60 000.

Knorr has had the bike since October, and when his boss, Willie du Plooy, said Branson needs a bike, Knorr handed his over. Branson will only decide on Saturday if he is going to ride Knorr's mountain bike or a KTM road bike.

"I am super-stoked at the thought that Richard Branson is considering riding my bike on Sunday. I love this bike – it is a KTM Myroon Prestige 29 inch; it is a great ride and would do well in the Argus," Knorr said.

"The mountain bike is fast, light and durable, and in many ways it is similar to a road bike. There is a lot of technology that has gone into the bike and you could say it is like a top-of-the-range BMW," Knorr said.

When deciding on which bike to use, Branson will need to consider that while a road bike is faster and has thinner tyres, the mountain bike is sturdier. There is also more chance of having a crash on a road bike because it is so fast; you can sit back on a mountain bike, giving you increased balance and less chance of falling off.

"I am in my noppies (stoked) that Richard Branson could be riding my bike on Sunday. I have so much respect for him; he is a hell of a nice guy and he is health and fitness driven," Knorr said.

Whichever bike Branson chooses to ride on Sunday, he will be sharing the road with 35 000 other cyclists, 3 000 of whom are from around the world – quite a turnout.

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