PLATT TO TAKE ON THE LEGENDARY MOUNTAIN BIKE STAGE RACE WITH URS HUBER
Winner of the Absa Cape Epic in 2010, 2009, 2007 (with Stefan Sahm) and 2004 (with Mannie Heymans) and one of the world’s most prolific mountain bikers, Karl Platt (34), will return for the 10th edition of the race, which takes place from 17 to 24 March this year. The German Bulls rider is ready to take on the challenging 698km and 15 650m of climbing, from Citrusdal to Lourensford Wine Estate.
Says Platt: “I’ve participated in all the Absa Cape Epics since its inception. It has become a unique race over the years and a huge part of my career, but the main thing is that I love to race it! In the 9 years of riding the Cape Epic, I got smarter but not younger. Honestly, I think there are lots of stories I can share. It’s a lifetime experience.”
Platt’s previous victories speak volumes – German Marathon Champion twice, 7 times winner of the TransAlp, winner of the TransRockies, winner of the TransGermany, winner of the Trans Schwarzwald, winner of the Sabie Classic and winner of Tour de Langkawi.
Weighing in at 70 kg and 180cm tall, Platt has been a professional mountain biker all his life and started when he was only 16. He reckons the ultimate highlight of all his Cape Epic adventures, is “to suffer every year and then forget about it again. There are so many memorable experiences. We’ll need to sit down with a nice bottle of wine to get through all of them.” His toughest event was in 2009, when he dislocated his shoulder on the first day, and then again later in the race. “But they’re all tough! The best part of any race is to win it, of course. And the worst part is getting up at 5am. I’m really not a morning person and very grumpy”.
He feels that his biggest strength on a mountain bike is that he still manages to have fun under pressure. The one word that sums up the event for him is “vollekanonne”. His advise is: “Patience and endurance are the most important ingredients to finishing the race. Also, train hard and eat less.”
He does not enjoy the days in between and prefers the first and last stages of the event. “I don’t like the middle because the finish is too far away and you’re already tired. I also really look forward to some beer at the finish.” Platt, who will be riding with Urs Huber in this year’s event, laughingly adds that he returns every year for the “pain and the money”.
He considers his biggest achievement off the bike to be his family. “Family comes first, but they’re 100% behind me.” One of his goals this year is to a build a nice house for his family.