Thomas Dietsch and Tim Böhme will race together as Team Bulls 2 at this year's Cape Epic mountain bike stage race, starting on Sunday, March 17. They are among the favorite teams expected to walk away with top honors.
Dietsch, 38, is a five-time French marathon national champion, a cross country national champion, two-time European marathon champion, and past silver medallist at marathon Worlds.
Böhme, 30, placed fourth at the 2011 marathon world championships, took bronze at the 2011 European Championships, is a two-time silver medalist at the German Marathon Championships and placed third in the 2009 TransAlp. He enjoys a top 20 world ranking.
"It's one of the best races in the world, gets a lot of coverage and is great for preparing for the European season," said Böhme of the Cape Epic. He'll be racing it for the sixth time.
"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. 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."
Experience will help the two riders toward their goals for this year's race. "To complete this event successfully, you must have the fitness levels and mentality to fight for eight days," said Böhme. "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."
Thinking back over the years, he said, "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."