Cape Town - The
Bestmed Tour of Good Hope’s international reputation was further enhanced this
week after confirmation that five-time Absa Cape Epic champion Karl Platt will be on
the start line in early March.
German will lead a strong team in South Africa’s premier road stage race that
stretches over five days and 490km in the Cape Winelands.
38-year-old from Osthofen will be supported by Swiss marathon mountain bike
champion Urs Huber and fellow Germans Tim Böhme and Simon Stiebjahn.
who is already in the country to prepare for a series of events, intimated that
they were ready to shake things up in the Cycling SA-sanctioned race, which is
presented by the City of Drakenstein and Scicon.
he was cagey about his objectives, simply saying it was “strictly
confidential”, he said the tour would play an important part in fine-tuning his
form ahead of the Epic.
is a great event with great racing and we want to race cleverly to make the
most of it. We will use the strength of the team to our advantage and, for
sure, we want to start some fireworks.”
will team up with Huber at the Epic just over a week afterwards in a bid to
defend their Cape Epic title and with the aim of becoming the first six-time
currently shares five overall triumphs with Switzerland’s Christoph Sauser, a
multiple former world marathon mountain bike champion who is a regular face at
the Tour of Good Hope.
will be some other strong rivals at the Epic this year, so the duel between
Christoph and me is just one of many rivalries,” said Platt.
there will be a special feeling racing against him as we are both gunning for
our sixth title.”
said Böhme and Stiebjahn, who will team up for the Epic, were the best support
team one could imagine.
objective, he said, would be to “deliver a top performance and to be
competitive for the win”.
to say, after last year’s overall victory, this can be the only goal.”
After spending time in South Africa in November, Platt, who ended third in
Attakwas at the weekend, has been back for a block of training leading up to the
said there were many benefits to training in the country at this time of the
will be able to get used to the heat and the special weather conditions. Also,
we will be riding awesome trails and last, but not least, enjoy the beauty of
South Africa and the great hospitality.”
Bestmed Tour of Good Hope takes place from March 6-10.
Visit www.tourofgoodhope.co.za for more