Swiss marathon champion Konny Looser and partner, Hansueli Stauffer, feel they have the form and experience to etch their names onto this year’s Perskindol Swiss Epic trophy.
Konny Looser is no stranger to mountain bike stage racing. A marathon rider at heart he’s notched up a host of notable victories which include the coveted Swiss MTB Marathon crown, a title he currently holds. Although he’s celebrated some of his best results on the African continent (South Africa and Namibia to be specific), it’s the Perskindol Swiss Epic that he’s looking to add to his ever-growing list of accolades.
“As a Swiss rider it’s really important for me to do well at the Perskindol Swiss Epic, it’s also beneficial for my sponsors. After finishing 2nd last year my aim is to go for a win. I’ve also won the Bike Transalp back in 2011 and this would be very special to win another big stage race.”
Together with team mate Hansueli Stauffer, the Team BiXS duo reckon they’ve got skill and experience on their side. As a five-time Absa Cape Epic finisher and Amabubesi member, Looser knows a thing or two about mountain bike stage races and will hope to harness both his extensive stage racing knowledge and partner Hansueli Stauffer’s technical skills to maximum effect come September.
“The Swiss Epic is all about climbing – it’s never flat. The climbs are long and it’s all about threshold power (watts per kg). So basically, I do more training on long climbs. The Swiss Epic is also at the end of the European season, where I’m already in good form and well trained for this kind of terrain.”
“Hansueli is a really strong climber and has super technical skills. I’m more of an allrounder, not the best at descending but if I’m able to hold Hansueli’s wheel on the downhills we’ll be right up there. In terms of stage racing, we’re both very experienced and this will definitely be to our advantage.”
With its mind-blowing singletrack, steep climbs and exquisite vistas which include the Matterhorn, arguably the most notable peak in the world, the Valais region in Switzerland will play host to this year’s Swiss Epic. As the current Swiss marathon champion Konny has the credentials to go all the way and if everything goes to according to plan he’ll finally get the monkey off his back.
“Valais is simply one of the most amazing areas in the world to ride your bike but it’s going to be tough out there. The trails are all natural and more difficult. The downhills are long and sometimes you’ll ride 1500m down a trail for 30 minutes – it’s crazy! But I’m confident – the first part of the season has been quite successful. I’ve won two big races already and secured some podiums as well. But the main goal is still ahead – the Perskindol Swiss Epic!”