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Platt favored for success at Clarens marathon

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Four-time Cape Epic winner, Karl Platt of Team Bulls leads the front pack early on during the Attakwas Extreme mountain bike marathon on Saturday. Platt finished third overall.

Four-time Cape Epic winner, Karl Platt of Team Bulls leads the front pack early on during the Attakwas Extreme mountain bike marathon on Saturday. Platt finished third overall.
(Image credit: Zoon Cronje)
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Urs Huber commerisirates with Team Bulls team-mate Karl Platt after Karl decides to quit his race due to a knee injury

Urs Huber commerisirates with Team Bulls team-mate Karl Platt after Karl decides to quit his race due to a knee injury
(Image credit: Greg Beadle / Sportzpics)
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Karl Platt and Urs Huber of Team Bulls do al they can to break away from overall leaders Team Burry Stander-SONGO during stage 6 of the 2013 Cape Epic

Karl Platt and Urs Huber of Team Bulls do al they can to break away from overall leaders Team Burry Stander-SONGO during stage 6 of the 2013 Cape Epic
(Image credit: Greg Beadle / Sportzpics)

Clarens will host the next round of both the UCI Marathon Series and the South African marathon series on May 3-4.

The world class route and UCI points are attracting top names like multiple-time Cape Epic winner Karl Platt (Team Bulls). He'll be looking to make a point after he had to withdraw from the 2014 Cape Epic in March with a knee injury. Another rider to watch will be South African Nico Bell (Team RECM).

This year will be the fourth time Clarens plays host to the national series and its second year as part of the UCI World Marathon Series.

According to Wessel van der Walt from Advendurance, the route is probably the most visually appealing and varied yet challenging courses they've ever put together showcasing what South African mountain biking has to offer on the world stage.

"Don't let the profiles fool you! - it's real mountian biking out there!" he said.

After much time spent scouting, organizers have laid out a new route. Most of the course will be new to the racers as it traverses private land with hand built trails especially for the race. The region is home to various types of wildlife and will cross the Maluti Mountains on the edge of the Lesthoto border, which is the highest mountain range in South Africa.

Elite racers will cover 120km.