Christoph Sauser (Specialized) is aiming to make it four wins in a row at the Bike Four Peaks mountain bike stage race, which was formerly known as the Tran Germany. In light of his past success, he is the clear favorite for this year's race, something that gives him motivation.
"Being the one everyone is looking for helps. It makes you a favourite so you have to ride fast," said Sauser. "And when I compete, I want to win!"
Just two weeks remain until the race from June 5 to June 8, and Sauser's chances of winning are good. The Cape Epic winner says he is in better shape this year and will come into the race more rested. "This year, I won't compete in any cross country race before the event and thus can prepare better."
Sauser was leading the final meters of the European marathon championships a few weeks ago in Singen, Germany, when he had a technical problem and was overtaken by winner Alban Lakata (Topeak Ergon).
Lakata is Sauser's top rival at the Bike Four Peaks.
"It's my goal to keep the momentum for the Bike Four Peaks and to get the fine tuning for the world championships which are subsequent to the race," said Lakata, winner of the 2012 Trans Alp stage race race.
"Of course I would like to win. But I guess I'm not the only one. There are a few who will go for it."
Besides Sauser, Markus Kaufmann and Urs Huber are top candidates for the podium.
"It will be a tight battle until the very last metre!" predicted Lakata.
The four-day stage race happens in the Alps over 300km and 9,000m of climbing.