The announcement comes as the team prepares to continue its strong hold on cycling in South Africa, when the summer season gets underway this weekend. “Luthando keeps the riders together and was the obvious choice for us,” team manager Barry Austin said on Wednesday night.
“Seeing him grow over the years has been great and it’s fabulous to see someone grow from a vulnerable youngster to someone that challenges you intellectually.”
Kaka began his career as a member of the Velokhaya Life Cycling Academy in Cape Town and went on to become the first black South African to race professionally abroad. Kaka was signed to professional Danish team, Glued & Marstrand Horsens, in 2008 and 2009. He joined Team Bonitas in 2010 and has since built a reputation of being a reliable all-rounder.
Kaka said he was grateful the team believed in him. “I am very happy to be named as team captain, it’s a great honour for me,” said Kaka. “I’ve never dreamt of being captain, I never thought such a thing would happen.
“Team Bonitas is a big team with a rich history, having had Malcolm Lange who has won major races during his time, so now the pressure is on me to make sure the next generation of riders maintain the team’s winning ways.”
Kaka’s influence in SA sport was also recognised by the sport and recreation department in 2012, when he was selected as one of the top 100 most influential sport people in the country.
The 27-year old from Khayelitsha has set lofty goals as captain, with the aim of leaving a lasting legacy. “When I joined the team almost four years ago, I was the second-youngest rider. Now I’m one of the oldest and most experienced. At 27 years of age, that shows just how committed Team Bonitas is to young talent,” he said.
“I look forward to transferring my knowledge to my young team-mates and am committed to leading this team to even greater success. “We need to continue being a force in this country. We have to win all the major classics coming up and make sure we defend our Argus crown as well next year.”