Cape Town - Five-time winner of the Absa Cape
Epic, Karl Platt, will yet again line up with Swiss partner Urs Huber come March 18 at the Prologue on Table Mountain.
The BULLS duo will be targeting yet
another overall win as a combination - this despite Platt sustaining a fracture
to his hipbone and pelvis after a crash during training in November last year.
“I fractured my hip and pelvis in a
training ride last year which put me out for a while, but it provided some
much-needed rest. I’m starting to feel great again. I had a good Attakwas and
despite not finishing higher up the list there was no pain and that is a good
thing,” said Platt.
Joining them is the BULLS 2
combination of Tim Boehme and Simon Stiebjahn who are well versed in the tough
and demanding nature of the Untamed African MTB Race.
This year however,
they’ve been promoted from support duties and will be able to race for stage wins - the pair have after all finished on the podium with a bronze medal back in
And what about back-up and support?
Well, the BULLS set-up has brought along another young team to assume that
role, an outfit comprising Martin Frey and Simon Schneller who will compete
under the BULLS 3 moniker. As rookies, Platt says their primary role will be to
support and assist both senior teams should anything go awry as well as to gain
“I hope they (BULLS 2) have a good
race this year. It’s a different story and situation for Tim and Simon but
they’re now able to ride and race as they feel. If they see a chance they are
free to go for it. For support we’ve brought another young team, BULLS 3, and
Martin (Frey) and Simon (Schneller) will ride as the dedicated back-up team for
While much has been said about last
year’s route favouring the high-revving cross-country specialists, Platt
reckons it was more a case of the timing and structuring of the global race
calendar than the course itself and feels this year might very well present a
different dynamic altogether.
“I don’t think last year’s Absa Cape
Epic was necessarily a cross-country rider’s race, no. I think because the
World Cup series started later everybody was in a different phase of training
and could give it a proper go. This year the Epic World Cup is just two weeks
before the Absa Cape Epic and that will be a priority for many riders. We also
had some bad luck with mechanicals and Urs (Huber) was ill on some stages but that’s
the nature of the race.”
Asked about what winning a record
sixth title would mean to him and the team, the German was confident about his
“Our goal is always to perform at our best. Sure, we’re aiming for
the win but there are many factors that come into play, and for a result here,
everything has to come together. I am now properly recovered from my injury and
training flat-out. I’m confident that I will be ready and that everything will
work out. My goal and the team’s goal will always be to win the Absa Cape Epic.
I’ll be here for 2018 and 2019.”
*The 2018 Absa Cape Epic mountain
bike stage race takes place from March 18-25 and the much anticipated route
can be viewed here