Four-times Grand Prix Champion Alain Prost and ski champion Sebastian Di Pasqua return for their second Absa Cape Epic


World famous former Formula One champion Alain Prost (58) and well-known international ski champion Sebastien Di Pasqua (36), return for their second Absa Cape Epic. Together with 1 198 riders they will take on the challenging 698km and 15 650m of climbing in the untamed African mountain bike race. This year’s race, which takes place from 17 to 24 March, will kick-off with a prologue at Meerendal Wine Estate in Durbanville and finish eight days later at the traditional Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West.

A four-time Formula One Drivers’ Champion, Prost has won more titles than any driver except for Juan Manuel Fangio (5 championships) and Michael Schumacher (7 championships). For a period of 14 years, from 1987 to 2001, he held the record for most Grand Prix victories. Says Prost: “After the fantastic experience I had with Sebastian last year, we decided to do it again straight away.”

His riding partner is well-known water ski champion, Sebastien Di Pasqua. Di Pasqua has achieved impressive results in the sport and is a 2 times European record holder, a bronze medalist at the 2006 World Cup Final, a podium finisher in World Cups, Pro Tour stops and European Championships, three times World Championship finalist and 15 times national record holder. He has been in the top 10 and top 3 on the International Waterski Federation (IWSF) and European ranking lists for 10 years. Says Di Pasqua: “The 2012 Cape Epic was a great and new life experience. Every day of the year I thought about the race. We decided almost right away after passing the finish line to do it again.”

Di Pasqua reckons what makes them a good team is the fact they know each other very well. “This ‘expedition’ makes our friendship stronger, and we’re both very determined to finish the race. We don’t train together very often, but we are both very precise about the way we train, eat and take care of details to be ready.” Prost adds: “We do not train together often, but we have a similar programme this year. I know that he can help me if I need him too.”

When it comes to training and diet Prost explains: “Because of the bad weather this year, I trained more inside with the home trainer and have done more quality like interval training than endurance.  I have also tried to lose a bit of weight.”  Says Di Pasqua: “We did some physical tests and built a training plan around that. I managed some of the planning, as it’s my part time job since I retired from waterskiing. My girlfriend Flore Echinard is a renowned nutritionist in France and Switzerland, so she is taking care of that part.”

Prost reckons the most important ingredient to complete the Absa Cape Epic successfully is trying to avoid any accident.  “Determination is key, be ready to suffer, ride smart, and have fun,” says Di Pasqua.

Prost says that he chose to return to the Absa Cape Epic because he likes the adventure. “It’s the 10th anniversary and we wanted to be part of it,” he says. Di Pasqua says that the 2012 Absa Cape Epic was a great experience, and they wanted to relive it again.

When they were asked what they thought about the 2013 route, Prost commented: “No idea, but I’m sure it will be great.” Di Pasqua still has to have a look at the new route.

Prost who describes himself as passionate, anxious and motivated spends his free time outside biking, skiing, golfing and he loves the sea. Di Pasqua loves snow skiing, mountain biking, paragliding, training hard, and enjoys being with friends. He describes himself as passionate, determined, very happy, “live my life to the fullest kind of guy”.

Prost’s goal for the moment is to concentrate on the Absa Cape Epic. Adds Di Pasqua:  “Be successful in all I do.”

Lourensford Wine Estate will once again host the finish of the race and the Grand Finale celebrations on 24 March 2013. The Grand Finale will kick off with live entertainment by well-known South African electro – swing dance group Goodluck, as well as aerobatics tricks by Kenny Belaey. A Farmer’s Market, delectable food and wine as well as glorious scenery will be part of the day. Vantage points will be accessible to the general public, so that all may have a piece of the mountain biking action. Entrance is free.