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Overall leaders Karl Platt and Stefan Sahm of Team Bulls during stage seven of the 2010 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held in and around Oak Valley in the Western Cape, South Africa.
Pair looks for fourth victory together in South Africa
Last year's winners of the Absa Cape Epic Karl Platt and Stefan Sahm are back to defend their title at this year's event starting Sunday, March 27 and ending on Sunday, April 3. The German Bulls team is ready to take on the challenging 707km mountain bike stage race through South Africa.
Platt, 33, and Sahm, 34, achieved a hat trick winning the Cape Epic in 2007, 2009 and 2010, with Platt also winning the inaugural 2004 race with his previous partner Mannie Heymans.
"I've participated in the Cape Epic since its inception - this will be my eightth race," said Platt. "I love this race, the people and the country. It's an exceptional experience to train in South Africa - riding around Chapman's Peak is beautiful and one needs no further motivation. Also, coming from a very cold Europe, the weather is perfect."
"For me it really is the best race in the world and the highlight in our season," said Sahm. "It's the hardest and cruellest week of cycling throughout the year, but I enjoy every second."
Platt's victories speak for themselves - six-time winner of the TransAlp, winner of the TransRockies, winner of the Trans Germany, winner of the Trans Schwarzwald and also the German Marathon Championship.
Sahm also boasts an impressive list of wins behind his name such as the TransAlp, the Trans Germany, the Trans Schwarzwald, the Riva del Garda and Willingen Marathons, and the National Bundesliga. This will be their fourth Cape Epic as a team.
Platt said he is never over confident before a race. "Our chances are as good as anybody's. But we did our homework and are well-prepared. We also have really great equipment - so we can't do more."
Sahm added jokingly that they are "as confident as winning the lottery. I know that we're well prepared for racing the Cape Epic and I had a really good training season in winter. But, this is the Cape Epic and it has its own rules. The previous years showed that you have to expect to deal with a lot of problems. By the April 3, we'll know all about it."
To the question of why they make such a winning team, Sahm said, "This is not easy to describe, and sometimes we ask ourselves why we race so well together. The key our success is our friendship and our respect of each other's limits. Contrary to what people think, we don't train together a lot because we live about 450km apart. In the early season we do some training camps together."
This year Team Bulls is an ambassador for the JAG foundation. "We're very proud that they asked us," Sahm said.