While Kim Le Court already boasts an impressive cycling resume, 2023 is shaping up to be a standout year for the South African-Mauritian pro cyclist, who rides for the Biogen-backed Efficient Infiniti Insure Pro MTB Ladies team
Kim holds multiple African Championship titles and numerous wins at iconic road and mountain bike races around the country. In March, she completed a hat-trick of race wins at the Cape Town Cycle Tour when she successfully defended her title on Sunday, 12 March. The win was her fourth in the Cape Town Cycle Tour, which ranks her alongside Anke Erlank on the all-time standings.
Kim then partnered with teammate Vera Looser to dominate the world’s toughest mountain bike stage race, the 2023 Absa Cape Epic. Following an epic battle between Amy Wakefield and Candice Lill throughout race for the coveted orange race leaders’ jersey, Kim and Vera started the final 80km stage with a relatively comfortable time gap.
Taking a cautious approach, the duo finished behind stage 7 winners Greete Steinburg and Monica Yuliana Calderon Martinez to take the overall win and the prestigious title for team Efficient Infiniti Insure.
What was the secret to your success at the Absa Cape Epic this year with riding partner Vera?
In my opinion, one of the biggest factors was the strong friendship between us that has grown over the last nine years. Additionally, we had the opportunity to race together at the Swiss Epic and the Wines2Whales last year. These experiences allowed us to learn more about each other, both on and off the bike, including our strengths and weaknesses.
Furthermore, we had a fantastic support team, including Theresa Ralph and Lushano Forsman, who were our soigneurs and took exceptional care of us. They made sure that we were well rested, well fed and that we could focus on racing. In my view, having a positive team environment off the bike is crucial to achieving success on the bike.
With two high-profile wins already this year at iconic road and mountain bike races, to what do you attribute your current form?
I think that having a balance in my life has been really important this year. I’ve been fortunate to have great support from my loved ones, which has helped me stay focused and motivated in my training. I feel really grateful for my family and friends, and I don’t think I could have achieved what I have without them.
I also owe a lot to my coach, Jeroen Swart, who has been instrumental in helping me become the athlete I am today.
Finally, my gratitude goes to my team, Efficient Infiniti Insure, who have supported me for the past two years and continue for a third. I could not have achieved anything without their unwavering support and encouragement. They have been an integral part of my success and I am truly grateful to have them as part of my journey.
How does your diet change before a big race and during a multi-stage race like the Cape Epic?
Before a big race, I would focus on consuming a balanced diet that is rich in carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats to increase my energy levels, improve muscle recovery, and reduce inflammation.
During a multi-stage race like the Absa Cape Epic, I would adjust my diet to meet my increased energy and nutrient needs. In general, I consume carbohydrates, protein and electrolytes during and after each stage to refuel and recover.
I think it’s important to be strategic about the food choices we make as athletes, especially during a multi-stage race. I would usually focus on consuming foods that are easily digestible and provide a quick source of energy, such as energy bars, gels, and sports drinks. I also consume larger meals during rest periods to help replenish my energy stores and promote recovery.
Of course, everyone works differently and have their own dietary needs, which vary from athlete to athlete depending on factors such as their individual metabolism, body composition, and training programs.
What is Kim’s Formula For Success?
We caught up with Kim following her back-to-back wins at marquee races in March to uncover her formula for success and find out what’s next for this talent rider whose career is on the up and up…
I don’t really believe they are any pros and cons. I think it makes the sport more fun and opens up many more opportunities. I love being able to achieve my goals in both disciplines and find it extremely interesting and fun. On top of it all, there aren’t enough races in each discipline in South Africa to just stick to one, in my opinion.
My family was the reason I became a cyclist. Since I was quite young, any sport I started I wanted to be professional in it. Not many people know this about me, but I used to be quite a good soccer player. I even received a sports bursary from the US when I was only 14 years old, but I chose to pursue cycling.
That’s a good question because it is tough. I work as a country manager in South Africa for the Singapore-based Fujito group, a global printing tech company, and I am also a Retül bike fitter for the Specialized Somerset West store. I hustle to be honest. The income from cycling is far from enough to live on, which means I’m quite busy.
I think it would be listening to what older mentors or experienced athletes you look up to, tell you. I was told to “grab every opportunity because if you don’t, one day you will regret it, and regretting something you can’t change in the past is a hard thing to live with“. So always grab that opportunity, even if it doesn’t work out the way you wished it had. At least you’ve tried.
That things don’t always go your way. You will have bad days, bad weeks and bad months. But there is always light at the end of the tunnel and there will be good days. Those hard days on the bike are all worth it when the good ones finally come.
That we are all human. Even the best of us go through tough times. It’s not always about those who win. It’s also about you, who you are, what you bring to the sport, and the fact that you never give up. That’s what it’s all about.
Mmmm, that’s a tough one. It is probably the Absa Cape Epic right now. I also love the African Continental Championships because I get to reunite with my fellow Mauritian national team mates. It’s a lot of fun with them, and I get to speak my native French again.
Kim’s Biogen Supplement Stack:
“As a member of the Efficient Infiniti Insure, I use Biogen supplements on and off the bike to fuel my training and racing.”