Cape Town - Norwegian professional Eirik
Fiskvik will leave the extreme cold of a European winter this week to test
himself in sunny South Africa when the TransCape MTB Encounter gets
underway on Sunday.
The 26-year-old rider is one
of several overseas cyclists who have shown an interest in the Western Cape
mountain bike race, which received a boost last year by being awarded UCI
The 614km challenge will see competitors set off from Knysna on Sunday
morning in the first stage of the seven-day classic which finishes in
Franschhoek on February 10.
Fiskvik said he was thrilled
to be making his first visit to South Africa, although his desire to compete in
the TransCape was almost derailed by an unfortunate accident to his partner at
Set to ride with Ole Hem, his
plans were disrupted when his Norwegian colleague broke a collarbone in
training on Saturday.
I luckily have been able to find a replacement in Thomas Engelsgjerd, also from
Norway and in the same team as Ole," said Fiskvik.
we compete in different UCI teams in Norway we will ride the TransCape under
the name, Team Happysalmom. Happysalmon is a saying in Norway that denotes a
Fiskvik said he was doing his
best to prepare for the season in Europe which starts later in the year, but
said he was always comfortable on a mountain bike.
now we are in the off-season and my technical skills are a bit rusty, so gravel
roads will be my strength at this stage," he said.
Thomas is a really good mountain biker. He produces a lot of power and can keep the pace
really well in high-speed terrains. He also is very good technically, with no
With his partner three years
his junior, the Norwegian ace said he hoped to help them make the right
days is a long time for a race and to keep your head throughout is an absolute
A winner of the three-day
UCI-rated Glacier 360 in Iceland last year, with his older brother Anders,
Fiskvik said it was a dream of his to compete in South Africa.
discovered the race on Facebook," he said. "I had a plan to do a stage race in February and when I
clicked on TransCape's website and saw what they offered, there was no doubt - I was going to South Africa."
The Norwegian mountain biker
said from the comments he had heard about the race he felt he was in for the "experience of a lifetime".
"I see a terrific country, a fabulous opportunity for
mountain biking and I expect much fun, cool trails, warm climate and a
beautiful natural environment," he said.
can't wait to start this journey. It feels like a highway
Having grown up in Tynset, a
small town with winters reaching -40C, Fiskvik now lives in the Norway capital,
He is part of the four-man
Norwegian professional outfit, Trek Sparebanken Hedmark, the leading team in
the country for several years.
have won most of the top mountain bike races at home and in 2013 my brother,
Anders, became Norwegian mountain bike marathon champion," he said.
the Glacier 360 in Iceland, last year we had a win in the elite class in the
Trans Osterdalen, the biggest mountain bike stage race in Norway."