Mountain Biking and Mountain Bikes for Africa









ABSA Cape Epic 2010 - How the race was won


The ABSA Cape Epic seemed to be bigger than ever this year, and in many ways it was. This magical and untamed African mountain bike race is always changing and pushing the limits and thatís what makes it so special. It was an ultimate challenge for organisers to pull off in the first place, its always been an ultimate challenge for amateur riders to finish and this year it proved to be the ultimate challenge for professionals to win it.

The who's who of mountain biking were at the 2010 Cape Epic event. The only other place that you will possibly find a more star studded line up would be at the Olympics. This race drew the best riders from the World Cup cross country circuit, marathon champions and stage racing professionals. It made for the most exciting and dramatic racing so far in the 6 year history of this event.

The media coverage and live tracking help to get anyone who cares involved in the race. The unofficial reporting via twitter, facebook, blogs and other internet media added to this and often had more up to date and interesting information than the official epic sources.

Everyday of the race was like a soap opera with positions changing several times a day, dramatic mechanicals, harsh conditions and technical challenging riding. It was only towards the end of the race that the leaders started to emerge and even then it was never a sure thing.

There were many well deserving winners, Kevin Evans in his never ending quest to win the epic was partnered with Alban Lakata a world champion marathon mountain biker. They were let down by equipment choices and mechanicals in the beginning and some health and performance issues towards the end. But they hung onto 3rd place. Then Burry Stander and Christoph Sauser, clearly the strongest riders, but they only managed 3 days when both were in peak form, otherwise either one had some stomach issues.

So that left the most professional and consistent team to take the top podium spot. The Bulls team of Karl Plat and Stephan Sahm did everything right to win the Epic for the 3rd time.

So what is their secret, good luck you might say, well thatís partly true. Last year they had bad luck with Karl Plats shoulder dislocating on the first prologue and then several times later in the race, but they still pulled off a win.

Itís really a combination of factors, a good partnership and wise equipment choices and a bit of luck of course. Platt and Sahm have a solid partnership that is built on a friendship and focused on the same goal, mtb stage racing, and more specifically the Epic, its their sole focus. Robust and simple equipment choice, nothing fancy just the basics, strong light and efficient. They are patient and wait for the cracks to show in their opponents before capitalizing and then slowly etching out a lead that they protect vigorously towards the end. They won the race without winning a single stage, that proves that this is an endurance event that is not won at the start or on any single day, it is won at the end after a consistent performance and a calculated strategy.

Cape Epic Resources
The Epic Guide



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