“The new schedule is truly the perfect schedule for me,” said Schurter, who will take part in his fifth Absa Cape Epic. “Having the first World Cup round in my second home is something I am looking forward to and I hope this schedule will remain in the years to come.”
“To be honest, the 2017 season also beat my expectations,” said Schurter. “Winning the Absa Cape Epic already was a wonderful surprise. The World Cup was, for sure, my main goal, but winning all of them was nothing I had planned on. Only when I saw I could be the first one to win five world cup races in a row, did I get some extra motivation to go for it. And after winning five, I said to myself, ‘Why not win them all?’ The icing on the cake was the World Championship at the end.”
“Winning the Absa Cape Epic was the base for the perfect season. It really spiced up the soup. Going to the first World Cup already having a major victory helped tremendously for the rest of the season. It is the biggest stage race to win and something I’m super proud of.”
Schurter will team up with fellow Swiss Matthias Stirnemann once again, while Michael van der Heijden and Andri Frischknecht of the Scott-Sram Young Guns, will be their support team. There are very few teams who can call on a back-up consisting of riders who won two stages on their debut Absa Cape Epic. Schurter said he had been very impressed with their performance, and believes they are definitely a pair to watch for the future. He and Stirnemann have formed a close bond, with Schurter smiling as he recalls how “funny” his teammate can be both on and off the bike.
* The 2018 Absa Cape Epic mountain bike stage race takes place from 18 to 25 March and the much anticipated route can be viewed here.
Source: ABSA Cape Epic
Photos: Greg Beadle, Nick Muzik