Karl Platt and Stefan Sahm will team up for the Cape Epic starting on Sunday, March 25. The German Team Bulls' riders previously won the race in 2007, 2009 and 2010 and hope to return to the top step of the podium in 2012. Last year, they were third.
Platt, 34, also managed to win the inaugural 2004 Cape Epic race with his previous partner Carsten Bresser. "I've participated in all the Cape Epics since its inception - it has become an unique race over the years, which I could see from the very beginning," said Platt. "It has become part of my career, but the main thing is that I love to race it!"
Riding with Sahm for the fifth time, Platt calls him "my brother from another mother", adding that they look after each other during each race more than they look after themselves.
Sahm in turn says he keeps coming back because he likes the pain and because "the Cape Epic is for sure the most painful week in cycling. I also love the relief when I cross the finish line in Lourensford. It's hard to tell what makes Karl and I such a strong combination. Maybe it's because we're completely different characters but we have the same goal."
Platt's previous victories speak volumes - six-time winner of the TransAlp, winner of the TransRockies, winner of the TransGermany, winner of the Trans Schwarzwald, winner of the Sabie Classic, winner of Tour de Langkawi and also German marathon champion.
His partner Sahm, 35, also boasts an impressive list of wins, such as the TransAlp. the TransGermany, the Trans Schwarzwald, the Riva del Garda and Willingen Marathons, and the National Bundesliga.
Thanks to their years of racing together, Platt said that he and Sahm do not need to train together that often as they know each other perfectly. They also live 500km apart.
Sahm thinks luck will play a major role in Cape Epic success again this year, likening it to Russian Roulette. "I wouldn't put money on any team. You never know when the bullet is reaching out for you. But we train hard, we have the best supportive crew, we prepare the bikes perfectly and then we wait to see what's coming."