Paceline Sports invited Crank to meets Team Rabobank Giant Offroad last night at their dynamic new shop in Lakeside. Paceline Sports is the official back-up crew for the international Team Rabobank Giant Offroad riders at this years ABSA Cape Epic with Roland Nel being the head mechanic.
The team is made up of Emil Lindgren (25, Sweden) who placed 3rd at last years Epic on debut and Fabian Giger (22, Switzerland), current European u23 XC champion. Crank got to chat to the riders about their buildup to the Epic, what their plans are the rest of the season and who they thought were the teams to watch.
Both riders have just come back from a 2 week training camp in Cypress where they put in some serious miles. They are feeling confident for this years Epic but both agreed that Burry Stander and Christoph Sauser are the team to watch out for. Fabian said: “I raced against Burry last year, he is very strong, I could not beat him.” Emil stated that the more technical course suites their riding style. “However riding any race blind makes it technical” he said.
Emil also said that the Epic can make or brake a riders season. “If you come out of Epic uninjured and not exhausted you will have a good World Cup season, however, if it goes wrong your season could be over” he said. After the Epic, both riders will be focusing on the XC World cup races, the Bundesliga races and the World Champs. Both also have a firm eye on London 2012. “Making it to the olympics is a big dream of mine” Fabian said. “Being from Switizerland makes it very hard to get into team, with riders like Sauser and Schurter.”
“Winning the Epic is not just about being fast, you need to have luck on your side too” Emil said. ” Last year I came third, everything went well for us. I was the first rider to be on the podium on debut.” Team Rabobank Giant Offroad will be riding their Giant XTC Advanced Team hard tail bikes that weighs in at roughly 8.2kg. Although they admit that riding a dual suspension is an advantage, because they ride their hardtails in the World Cups etc, they want to keep things familiar. Its for this reason that the team is focusing on stage wins and keeping every day consistent. Who knows, they could cause a big upset.
Their easy going and friendly nature along with their results makes these 2 riders good ambassadors for both Rabobank and Giant. From Crank, good luck to Team Rabobank Giant Offroad and Paceline Sports for the ABSA Cape Epic. We will be watching and reporting on your progress throughout next week.
Here are some more photos from the evening: