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Andorra to Africa, Bulls looking to secure additional Epic Series win

At the 2021 Andorra MTB Classic, Team BULLS’ Simon Schneller and Martin Frey secured the overall victory; while Frey is no longer racing for BULLS, Schneller is eagerly awaiting the Absa Cape Epic.

Set high in the Andorran Pyrenees is the Andorra MTB Classic-Pyrenees, a mountain bike stage race presenting two-person teams with the challenge of racing 153 kilometres and climbing 5000 metres during four stages from in La Massana, Canillo, and Naturlandia.

2021 was the inaugural edition of the Andorra MTB Classic-Pyrenees; the event showcased many of Andorra’s trails carved into the mountainside, the world-renowned bike parks, and the region’s breathtaking climbs.

The event attracted many of the world’s best mountain bikers, including the likes of Team BULLS’ Martin Frey and Simon Schneller, Wilier Force 7C’s Johnny Cattaneo, Martino Troncino, Marco Rebagliati, Nicola Taffarel, Massimo Debertolis and Lorenzo Trincheri; Hans Becking and Francesc Guerra Carretero of BUFF SCOTT MTB (now BUFF-MEGAMO). Also in the mix was the Orbea Factory Team 41 of local legend Aleix Esparagó and Oliver Aviles Gilabert.

While the competition in the men’s race was fierce, it was Team BULLS who showed their class as they claimed the Prologue and Stage 1 wins; they claimed second on Stage 2, extending their 2-minute lead, and then eased off ever so slightly on the final stage to enjoy the trails and views. The easing of the pace did little to impact their overall GC lead and Frey and Schneller were eventual winners of the event.

“I recommend the Andorra MTB Classic for professional and amateur riders alike,” Schneller added. “It’s not too long, and it’s great fun to ride. The landscapes and the scenery are amazing, and the trails are even better. The race is also perfectly organised, so it has everything you need to have a fun four days on your mountain bike.”

Since Team BULLS’ inaugural Epic Series race victory, the team has been striving to reach new heights and trialled new combinations during the 2021 Absa Cape Epic. The new combinations proved fruitful as the team secured two stage wins, two additional stage podiums, and a second-place overall for Martin Frey and Simon Stiebjahn.

For the 2022 Absa Cape Epic, Team BULLS arrives with two teams eager to capitalise on their form. Schneller teams up with the 2016 Absa Cape Epic winner, Huber, for the second time, in 2022, and the pair has unfinished business as a partnership, given that Schneller fell ill ahead of Stage 4 while he and Huber were in second overall.

“Sure, my illness was a shame, but I have mostly good memories from last year’s Absa Cape Epic; with a stage victory and two more stage podiums,” he recalled. “But my dream to stand on the overall podium at the end is still there and I know it’s not impossible”.

The 2022 Absa Cape Epic men’s field is packed with talent, including previous winners, world champions, and young talent all bursting at the seems to claim additional wins or carve their names in the history books as Absa Cape Epic champions.

To see how Team BULLS fares in the Absa Cape Epic’s grand return to March, be sure to tune in to the Live Broadcast from 20-27 March on cape-epic.com.

SERIES NEWS