Kevin Evans (MTN-Energade) is out on a quest to achieve what no other mountain biker has ever been able to do. He will do his utmost to win the Giro del Capo road-cycling tour.
Today Burry Stander claimed today’s stage victory with Evans in third. Evans is now also leading the King of the mountains competition.
It is not an impossible goal. Evans is at the moment in fantastic form and lying second on the general classification behind fellow mountain biker Stander.
During the past four weeks he won not only the individual time trial at the South African Road Championship, but the SA Ultra-marathon title as well.
But, to borrow a phrase from a famous television advert, “that is not all”. During the past weekend Evans won the Sani2C Mountain Bike Tour in KwaZulu-Natal for a record fourth time. What is surprising about Evans’s Sani2C victories is that he did it with a different partner every time.
The important question now is ‘How long will Evans’s good form last?’
He is confident that he will be at his best until the last stage of the Cape Epic.
When I sat down with dr. Carol Austin to do my race planning for this year, our main focus was to ensure that I would be at my best during the period starting with the SA Road Championship and ending with the Cape Epic.
“I owe a lot of my racing success to dr. Austin. I started training scientifically for the first time during the past four years. I have learnt that it is the small things that make a big difference in the end.”
The Giro del Capo will in all probability be won or lost on Friday during the 5.5km hill-climb time trial up Signal Hill.
As the SA time-trial champion, Evans is really looking forward to the challenge.
“Winning the time trial up Signal Hill has for a long time been a goal of mine. Last year it was not part of the Giro. The year before I did not do the Giro due to a knee problem and three years ago I was too heavy to assert myself.
“What will be special for me about Friday’s time trial, is that it will probably be the only time this year that I will be able to wear my SA time-trial jersey. It will certainly serve as extra motivation.
“For me to have a realistic chance of winning the Giro overall, means that I will have to stay out of trouble during the first three days. Luckily my team-mates are committed to do their best to protect me.”
Going back to Evan’s Sani2C victories, his first victory was with Mannie Heymans, then Brandon Stewart, followed by a victory with David George and this year it was with Alban Lakata from Austria with whom he is also going to do the Cape Epic.
Lakata and Evans won two of the three stages of the Sani2C.
According to Evans the most exciting aspect of riding with Lakata is that they function well together as a team.
“OK, I have to admit that we have not really been tested to our limits, but I am confident that we will also be able to ‘gel’ when the going gets really tough.”