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5-Time winners Pair Up for Absa Cape Epic

Karl Platt and Christoph Sauser today announced that they will line up at Lourensford together on 20 March. Sauser and Platt have been fierce rivals since 2006 and are – with five victories each – to date the two most successful riders in the men’s pro category. 

The pair will race as team songo.info NinetyOne Epic Legends and will race for the blue  NTT Masters jersey instead of the yellow jersey of which they each own a handful. Since their first head-to-head battle, at the 2006 Absa Cape Epic, they have been the fiercest of rivals and there was little love lost in the early years. Karl Platt won the Absa Cape Epic in 2004, 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2016; while Christoph Sauser’s victories came in 2006, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2015.  

To many it might seem like an unlikely partnership, but it is rather a testament to mountain biking and the community of the sport. “We have always been great rivals but with a lot of respect for each other,” said Platt. “I think it says a lot about the sport that the two biggest rivals can race together.” 

The blue NTT Masters jersey symbolises loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence and is associated with inner strength and stability, all characteristics that both Platt and Sauser possess in abundance. Given their combined experience and contributions to the event, it would be fitting to see two of the greatest mountain bikers add a further leader jersey to their mantle. The story of how their personalities and racing styles will gel is yet to be written.  

“The competitive fire is burning, but I must honestly say that when I see the pros racing and how fast they start, I’m really happy not to have to wake up three hours before the start and go through the whole breakfast-and-prep-and-warm-up routine. 

Now I just wake up late and roll to the start.” Explained Platt. 

The community element of mountain biking is an area of particular interest to Sauser, “the Absa Cape Epic used to be in my head for pretty much all of my winter training as it was the kick off to season. Now it’s totally different for me as I race in support of our charity, songo.info, to raise awareness, funds and to inspire the future generations. 

“Being part of the Specialized team is also incredibly important to me as it allows me to pass on my experience to the youngsters coming up through the ranks,” he said. 

“I am really looking forward to riding with Karl,” said Sauser, in closing. “There’s nothing better than racing through the trails in the Western Cape and doing it in the NTT Masters category will be a lot better than eating dust like in the Elite category.”  

To follow Karl and Christoph’s exploits in the NTT Masters category, be sure to tune in to the Live Broadcast of the Absa Cape Epic from 20-27 March on cape-epic.com

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