TEAM BULLS 2 AMONGST FAVOURITES TO WALK AWAY WITH TOP HONOURS AT THE 2013 ABSA CAPE EPIC
Mountain biking champions Thomas Dietsch (38) from France and Tim Böhme (30) from Germany, who will be taking part in this year’s Absa Cape Epic as Team Bulls 2, are amongst the favourites to walk away with top honours at this year’s event. The legendary mountain bike stage race will see cyclists from all over the world complete 698 km’s over eight days. The prologue kicks off at Meerendal Wine Estate on Sunday, 17 March and the race ends on Sunday, 24 March at its traditional Lourensford Wine Estate finish.
Dietsch is a five times French Marathon Champion, French (Cross-country) Champion, two times European Marathon Champion, 2007’s overall World Cup Marathon winner, a silver medallist in the 2004 World Marathon Championships, a bronze medallist in the 2007 World Marathon Championships, and the Trans Germany winner. Böhme placed fourth at the 2011 Marathon World Championships, took bronze at the 2011 European Championships, is a two times silver medalist at the German Marathon Championships, seven times Rothaus Bike Marathon winner, and placed third in the 2009 Transalp. He enjoys a top 20 world ranking.
Böhme (72kg, 1.8m) started mountain biking in 1997 and this will be his 6th Absa Cape Epic. “It’s one of the best races in the world, gets a lot of coverage and is great for preparing for the European season. Thomas and I are a good combination as he’s tall and I’m small, so I have a good position in the flats. We’ve raced together a lot and know how to work together. We’d really like some stage wins and an overall podium finish, so we’re training hard. We also have a Bulls training camp of about four weeks. Last year we lost a stage win in a sprint and missed a podium finish by about 50 seconds. We want to try again this year.”
With regards to his training, Böhme says: “In January and February I focus on endurance and power training. As we get closer to the Cape Epic, I focus more on intensity training and my diet is a bit stricter as I need to lose a few pounds.
“To complete this event successfully, you must have the fitness levels and mentality to fight for eight days. The preparation and training before the event is very important. If you train well, you can go faster. Thomas and I are ready for the Epic and will race hard for a good result. Finishing in the top five will be a great result for us.”
For him, the last stage of the event is the most difficult. “After seven days on your bike, you’re tired and not as strong anymore. This makes the last stage very tough. Once you reach the finish line on the last day, you can´t believe that it’s over. You need to sit down and think about it. This event is more like an adventure than a race, so every day is different. The first Cape Epic was definitely the hardest. I was young and had no experience. I really didn’t know what was coming. My best experience was when we fought for third place last year.”
Böhme has very little free time. “I work at Radlobor in Germany where I help cyclists to perform better. We do training, testing and bike fitting for endurance cyclists. During my holidays, I enjoy cooking and drinking nice wine.”
Visit www.cape-epic.com for more details and to see where the riders are online during the race.
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