Ahead of the Cape Epic, Smith Power Equipment’s dealer, Maverick Motorsport, supplied a customised Polaris Ranger 570 to Mediclinic Southern Africa to help with medical backup during the most televised mountain bike race in the world.
A day before the 2019 Absa Cape Epic, the largest full-service mountain bike stage race in the world, Mediclinic Southern Africa took delivery of its Polaris Ranger 570 side-by-side from Maverick Motorsport. This year’s race took place from March 17-24. Leon Laing, owner of Maverick Motorsport, explains that as the top Polaris dealer in South Africa over the last seven years proved its mettle by getting the vehicle ready with all the modifications the client wanted in a very short space of time.
Maverick Motorsport had initially quoted the client a year ago. Mediclinic decided not to purchase the unit at the time, but we knew that eventually they would realise the Ranger’s potential. “When they eventually decided to buy, we managed to deliver it just a day before the start of the Cape Epic, as they needed it for the event. We had eight workdays to prepare the vehicle according to Mediclinic’s needs,” says Laing.
Why Polaris Ranger 570? “They purchased this unit specifically to provide medical backup in difficult terrain and to evacuate riders who could be seriously injured during the race,” explains Laing. The task at hand was no easy feat, and demanded a rugged solution that could easily traverse the tough terrain.
From the iconic slopes of Table Mountain’s National Park, to the craggy shoreline of the Southern Coast, traversing the famous Winelands and beyond into the high mountains of the Western Cape, the 2019 Absa Cape Epic route was no walk in the park. Eight days, 630 km and 16 650 m of climbing – the statistics pretty much tell the story. Rugged mountain trails, bone jarring dual tracks and windswept gravel roads, were some of the conditions riders had to contend with.
The Polaris Ranger 570 was a fitting solution that could get the better of these challenges, allowing Mediclinic to supply medical needs and rescuing injured riders from anywhere along the route. The unit has been equipped with a docking station for the stretcher, a jump seat for the assisting medic and a lockable cabinet for all the medication.
“The unit is All Wheel Drive and fully automatic, and even a less skilled person can operate it. We have also equipped it with the necessary emergency lights for maximum visibility. The client is very happy with the unit. It has worked extremely well for the purposes it was bought for,” concludes Laing.