Going Places – Beers and Nortje Form Toyota Specialized

The Toyota Specialized team is going places, with Epic strong man Matt Beers and rising XCO star Tristan Nortje ready to hammer in 2022.

Team Toyota Specialized |

Two behemoths of the automotive and cycling industries, Toyota and Specialized Bicycles, have teamed up to support two of South Africa’s most talented mountain bikers in 2022 and beyond.  

Racing as Toyota Specialized, with the support of Ninety One Asset Management and for the benefit of songo.info, the team will target marathon and stage races, gravel bike events and selected cross-country races in 2022. The new team will consist of South Africans Matt Beers and Tristan Nortje, with America’s Christopher Blevins and Britain’s Cameron Mason racing alongside them at the Absa Cape Epic. 

Beers is South Africa’s premier marathon racer. The 28-year-old is the reigning South African Marathon and 2021 Absa Cape Epic champion. Nortje is possibly South Africa’s most gifted young rider. Still just 20 years old, he has the talent to partner Beers in local stage races, while learning from the senior rider. Along with the early-season goal of a stellar Absa Cape Epic performance alongside Mason of Trinity Racing, Nortje will target select cross-country events, including a number of UCI World Cup races. 

The pair had already raced together before the Absa Cape Epic at the Momentum Medical Scheme Tankwa Trek presented by Biogen, where they won the Queen Stage, on their way to second overall behind Nino Schurter and Filippo Colombo.

A winning relationship

“We’re really excited to have Matt and Tristan racing in the Toyota Specialized colours in 2022,” says Bobby Behan, Director of Specialized Bicycles Africa. “They’re both exceptionally talented riders; Matt has already proven himself to be among the world’s best, and Tristan has an exciting future filled with personal and professional growth ahead of him. 

“I think their mix of youth and experience will combine well when they race together. But the relationship with Specialized Factory Racing also allows us to tap into the global teams.” 

“We’re proud that we’ve adopted a holistic approach when it comes to cycling, and this shows in the number of properties that we support locally and internationally – including individual cyclists, cycling teams, e-sports, Corporate Social Responsibility (Pedal Power Association) as well as in-store branding (Cycle Lab),” states Glenn Crompton, Vice President of Marketing at Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM). 

“Toyota Specialized is therefore a natural fit for us, and we are confident that this is going to be a successful and mutually beneficial partnership.” 

Team support

As the title sponsor, TSAM’s support to Toyota Specialized will include a financial contribution as well as a Corolla Cross for both riders.  

“It’s a huge privilege to be a part of a massive international brand like Toyota!” says Beers. “Most of our sponsors are big companies in South Africa, but Toyota is on a different level, globally. So it’s pretty surreal to have them backing us as cyclists. 

“And then obviously Specialized, too… they’re one of the biggest brands in the cycling industry internationally, but I’ve also been with them for four years now. It’s really good to have the consistency of that partnership and the support of people I have great working relationships with, and to be able to continue to race on their absolutely world-class bikes.”

“To be part of a team supported by Toyota and Specialized Bicycles is the highlight of my cycling career thus far,” Nortje confirmed. “I’m focused on doing them proud at the Absa Cape Epic.” A 17th-placed finish in support of Beer’s eventual third overall ticked that box. 

“After Epic, I’ll be focusing more on XCO races in Europe, and a few World Cups. Later in the year Matt and I will be doing a few stage races together. We make a good team, and complement each other well during all the challenges stage races present.”

The Toyota Specialized team will be racing aboard Specialized S-Works Epic mountain bikes in the majority of their races, but Beers in particular will also spend a significant amount of time on the Specialized S-Works Diverge. For more information on the bikes they will be racing and the vehicles that will power them, head over to toyota.co.za and specialized.com/za/en

Find Matt on Instagram


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Matt Beers (@mattbeers55)

Find Tristan on Instagram


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Tristan Nortje🌴 (@_tristannortje_)

READ MORE ON: absa cape epic beers MATT BEERS pro racing toyota toyota specialized tristan nortje

Copyright © 2024 Hearst