By FOCUS REPORTER
Winner in the Masters category of the TransAlp last year, Udo Boelts (44) will be participating with Olympian Carsten Bresser (40) in the Masters category of this year’s Absa Cape Epic presented by adidas as team Juwi. The event, in its eighth year, will take place from March 27- April 3 and offers both local and international mountain biking enthusiasts the opportunity to participate in an eight day mountain bike stage race of 707 km up approximately 14 550m of climbing, which again ends at its traditional Lourensford Wine Estate finish. This will be both riders’ fourth Absa Cape Epic. Says Boelts: “South Africa is a great country for this sport and the Absa Cape Epic is the best combination to see something of the country and at the same time battle with other teams for a good result in the race.” This will be the third year that they ride as a team. Says Bresser: “The Cape Epic is always a big challenge for me. This year it will be very special for me and my partner Udo because it’s our first time in the Masters category.” The duo lives reasonably close to each other in Germany. “We train together a lot, so I know Udo very well. He also knows my strengths and my weaknesses and can see when I’m feeling strong or tired. We work well as a team and always aim for the best result,” says Bresser, with Boelts adding that “we know each other in all situations of the race.” They train together twice per week. Says Boelts: “Mostly over weekends and on our road bikes.” Boelts does not follow a programme or diet. “If the weather is good, I do as much as possible.” Bresser also does not have a special training programme. “Mostly I ride to work by bike, so I do 60km per day, and two to three times a week I go home and do loops through the mountains.” Both Bresser and Boelts would very much like to win the Masters category. Says Bresser with a smile: “It won’t be easy. As in the elite (men’s) category there are always the strongest team and the same rings true for the old men category. Also, it’s not an advantage to come from cold Europe, so let’s see. We’ll give our best and hope to win, and if we don’t it’s also not a problem for us. The main thing is to enjoy the ride!! Boelts advises riders to ‘listen to your body, do not overturn the screw’. For Bresser, the first 3 days are the worst. “Don’t panic at the beginning - you will find the rhythm. And always look for your partner as it’s a team race! Also, in order to finish this event, you must not have an accident and know when it’s better to go a bit slower.” To the question of what they enjoy about the race, Bresser says: “I always enjoy seeing so many good friends, from the organisers to the sponsors and other riders. We’re all together for one week and will have a nice party at the end. I can’t wait to get there!” Boelts is looking forward to the two time trials. Their advice to younger riders is to take their time in gaining experience and always try their best. Live entertainment for the entire family, including wine tasting, magnificent scenery and the finest food and wine will be on offer at the finish at Lourensford Wine Estate, as well as the opportunity to see the ever popular Plush and Zebra & Giraffe in action. Entrance is free.