Meet Team Mad Macs

Coffee and cycling go together like hot toast and butter. Not only does a cup of Americano warm cold hands after an early-morning ride, it provides a burst of energy and a chance to catch up with cycling buddies.

As coffee and cycling are such good partners, it made perfect sense for South African pro cycling team Mad Macs to partner with häzz. Named after Mad Macs Motorcycles in Somerset-West, the team’s main sponsor, Team Mad Macs is also powered by our top-quality Arabica beans. Nick McFall, owner of Mad Macs Motorcycles, has been backing the riders for a long time, ensuring sustainability of the team, while häzz came on board as a secondary sponsor in 2017.

Pairing coffee with cycling is, interestingly, a trend that first started in Italy. According to Probikekit.co.uk, a Milanese coffee company called Faema came out of the post-war boom and took Italy by storm after World War II. Faema famously sponsored their own cycling team. And, in the 60s and 70s, notorious hard rider Eddy Merckx became Team Faema’s poster boy, elevating coffee’s status in the cycling world.

Team Mad Macs, set up by ex-Maties cyclist Alex Heward, currently includes eight professional cyclists from the Stellenbosch and Somerset-West area: Max Sullivan, Declan Sidey, Greg de Vink, Jonathan (Jonno) van Gesselleen, Etnard Louw, Rocco King, Shaun Glover and, of course, Alex. The cyclists are all between the ages of 19 and 33. Some are still studying at Stellenbosch University, while others have already built successful careers.

When first setting up the team, Alex’s aim was to develop young riders, using Maties Cycling Club as its talent pool. This strategy has proven to be incredibly successful. Over the past few years, the team has fared remarkably well, both locally and internationally. Earlier this year, Jonno took 8th place in the Cape Town Cycle Tour, while Greg won 3rd place in the Herald Cycle Tour. The team also came out tops in PEPLETT – 4-day mountain bike stage race across the Garden Route.

The team mostly trains over weekends, always stopping for a coffee along the way. “Visiting häzz is a nice social thing for us,” says Max. “We sit and plan our races and catch up. We love that there’s always a bit of a buzz.”

Häzz was Max’s first introduction to coffee when he moved from KwaZulu-Natal to Stellenbosch as a student – part of the reason why he is thrilled to still be associated with the brand.

“I never used to drink coffee,” Max says. “But then a mate introduced me to häzz. I started with a single espresso, and then a double… He made me fall in love with the brand. When we started looking for sponsors, häzz was top of mind.”

Follow Team Mad Macs on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and pop in to experience the häzz buzz for yourself!

häzz hero Tim and his coffee

He takes adventure to the next level and he does the same with the way he drinks coffee. We recently caught up with our busy häzz ambassador Timothy Hay, enduro motorbike rider and lover of good coffee.

Tim is also the Director and Producer of the show Journey to the Roof that captures his epic adventures that will take him to the mountains of Lesotho where he will try to finish one of the hardest euro races of all time, The Roof Of Africa.

Tim’s training programme is not an average one, meaning he does take his coffee a bit different than the rest of us! “I make my coffee in the morning with a tablespoon of macadamia nut butter, butter (or coconut oil) and honey. It is a good source of energy that is sustained throughout the day till the afternoon. The natural fats from the butter and macadamia nut butter keeps me going all day. The coffee gives me the boost I need to get going.”

Tim joined the häzz family late last year. “häzz coffee is my energy boost in the morning and afternoon…having to train six times a week it is essential to my daily routine! In this sport you’re always on your toes and häzz keeps us alert. So the brand relates to me in the sense that it goes hand in hand with extreme sports where you need to be alert and full of energy. With enduro riding you have to be 100% awake 110% of the time. I also love waking up to the smell of fresh coffee and with häzz you can even smell the quality!”

The Roof of Africa is 30 November to 3 December.