It’s official. The ABSA Cape Epic has confirmed mountain-biking legend Christoph Sauser will be teaming up with Jaroslav Kulhavy in search of a record-breaking sixth Cape Epic victory. The recently married 40-year-old won the 2013 and 2015 editions alongside Kulhavy in the Investec-Songo-Specialized colours – a name they’ll compete under again in 2017.
Sauser made his intentions of a possible comeback pretty clear by winning the first stage and finishing 4th overall at last month’s FNB W2W stage race with teammate Sam Gaze of New Zealand. As a seasoned campaigner Sauser will be aware of the realities facing Cape Epic riders on a daily basis – extreme weather, mechanicals and luck (to a certain extent) play a major role in the final outcome of the race. Thankfully, experienced South African stage racers Nico Bell and Gawie Combrinck (NAD Pro) will be Sauser and Kulhavy’s back up team should they experience any issues along the way.
Three strong teams stand in the way of Sauser and the 2017 crown, namely XCO World Champion/Olympic gold medalist Nino Schurter and partner Matthias Stirnemann (Scott-SRAM), Alban Lakata and Kristian Hynek (Topeak-Ergon) and the Bulls duo of Karl Platt and Urs Huber who will also gunning for the same feat of six wins. Needless to say, next year’s Cape Epic is going to be one of the most exciting and hotly contested editions yet.