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NOTE: This blog was originally published on the Dimension Data website. Dimension Data rebranded as NTT DATA in 2024.


Picture a beautiful morning in Botswana. At Staywell Gardens, the outdoor recreational facility, professional cyclists, mountain-biking (MTB) enthusiasts and families are buzzing with excitement. Some are determined to conquer the rugged terrain ahead, while others are there to support them and just enjoy the overall vibe.

This year, 12 August marks the sixth edition of the Route 73 MTB challenge – an event that offers something for everyone, from the 73km main event and a 6km kiddies’ ride to a 23km fun ride, a 50km “lite” edition and a 30km corporate edition. For the MTB pros, however, this is no ordinary contest.

A test for cycling and cyber professionals

The full race spans 73km of rocky surfaces and steep inclines that have earned the event a reputation as one of the most challenging races in Botswana. Every year, it draws cyclists from all corners of the country to test their strength and skill.

It’s also a test of our technological prowess in edge computing. The mountainous environment presents a unique challenge to setting up and maintaining a network that connects fans and members of the media, keeping them engaged throughout the race.

In this demanding environment, we’ve had to push the boundaries of what’s possible. By capturing data from cyclists throughout the event, we can now provide real-time insights to both fans and race organizers. This allows everyone to stay connected and informed as the race unfolds.

A joint passion for innovation

With a strong focus on creating exceptional fan experiences, we’ve worked with Cycle for Life in Botswana since 2016 to digitally transform and revitalize the event.

Together, we've introduced new and cutting-edge technology solutions to the race this year, ensuring that fans can be part of the action wherever they are. Starting with data processing and real-time analytics, we are expanding our technology solution with edge computing to seamlessly connect all aspects of the race.

The sensors attached to the back of the competitors’ saddles serve as the starting point, providing data for this immersive experience. Meanwhile, advanced AI algorithms that form part of our edge-computing technology process the vast amount of data collected during the race, extracting valuable insights and transforming raw data into actionable information.

This technology has revolutionized storytelling on various digital platforms, including social media and broadcast channels. Spectators can now join the riders in an interactive and captivating journey, whether they are present at the race site or miles away.

They can track the cyclists' progress, feel the adrenaline rush and celebrate each milestone as if they were right there on the course. This transformation has brought the riders closer to their fans, turning the race into a more inclusive experience for all.

Driving business value alongside exceptional fan experiences

Dimension Data and Cycle for Life work together to push the boundaries of what technology can achieve. At the core of our objectives is a commitment to connect fans to the race. Using data, Cycle for Life is always enhancing their interactions with the thousands of devoted MTB followers, be it on the roads in Botswana or anywhere else in the world. And, by connecting the edge of the network to passionate fans and race organizers, we are revolutionizing the way the race is perceived and managed.

The convergence of technology and fan engagement has transformed the way we experience and celebrate athletic events. Our teams remain committed to exploring the opportunities that technology creates. Tapping into our expertise in edge networks, cloud and technology management, we can ensure that Cycle for Life always have access to the latest innovations in the industry. Also, having adopted a technology-as-a-service approach, they can quickly respond to changes and evolve with their audiences and stakeholders.

Our data and analytics capabilities also empower cyclists to understand their performance like never before. We provide insights that inspire growth, celebrate progress and build resilience for future challenges – and champions.