Olympic gold medallist Schurter sets sights on Absa Cape Epic success

In August he won gold at the Olympic Games after earlier winning the 2016 mountain bike cross country World Championship. Now Switzerland’s Nino Schurter has set his sights on another major achievement: winning the Absa Cape Epic.

Sportzpics. Gary Perkin. Cape Epic.jpg

 

Schurter is the biggest name in world mountain biking right now, with three world championships, three World Cup titles (for accumulated points over a season) and gold, silver and bronze Olympic medals.

 

In 2017 he will take on the world’s premier mountain bike stage race, the Absa Cape Epic. He will be riding with fellow Swiss mountain biker Matthias Stirnemann for Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team. They will be supported by the Swiss/Dutch pairing of Andri Frischknecht and Michiel van der Heijden.

 

Asked if he was going for a win, Schurter said: “Next year is going to be a test for us. Matthias, Andri and Michiel have never ridden the Cape Epic before. If we succeed, it’s maybe a goal for the coming years.”

 

Stirnemann is only 24 and widely regarded as a future mountain biking star. He and Schurter recently finished third overall in the six-day Swiss Epic after a poor prologue and opening stage. They went on to win two stages against some of the riders they will confront in the 2017 Absa Cape Epic.

 

Schurter described winning the Cape Epic as “a goal for the future”, but his pedigree and competitive nature is such that he is bound to give it a shot in 2017. He has taken part in three previous Absa Cape Epics, twice with fellow Swiss rider Florian Vogel.

 

Sportzpics..Shaun Roy, Cape Epic.jpg

 

In 2010 and 2013 Schurter and Vogel approached those races as extended training sessions for the upcoming cross country season and finished 13th overall on both years. In 2014 Schurter rode with South African Philip Buys and they finished fifth overall, including two stage wins.

 

“After an amazing year of winning the World Champion title and the Olympic Games I am looking forward to a new challenge and I want to compete in the Cape Epic after a two-year break,” Schurter said. “I’m really looking forward to coming back to the Western Cape … I really love the place and especially the trails and how all the mountain bike places are developing there.”

 

He described the Absa Cape Epic as an “amazing event with awesome organisation”.
And the key to success on an event that confronts you with significant distances day after day? “To get through without any serious issues, like mechanicals, and staying healthy.”




12 Comments

Ofaniy, Oct 05 2016 01:44

The Sagan of the dirt world, going to be great. No what would be great is if Sagan actually took part

lerouc, Oct 05 2016 01:45

The Sagan of the dirt world, going to be great. No what would be great is if Sagan actually took part

Was thinking that when i started reading your sentence. That would be awesome!

BaGearA, Oct 05 2016 02:22

easy we just flood his twitter with requests to please do the epic.....

Suidwes Boytjie, Oct 05 2016 02:29

Interesting to see who Schurter will team up with for the Epic?

 

Would be cool if Sagan could also be there. 

Pure Savage, Oct 05 2016 02:31

easy we just flood his twitter with requests to please do the epic.....

 

I think there would be a much bigger flood on twitter for him to ride the spring classics..

 

http://www.cyclingne.../calendar/2017/

BaGearA, Oct 05 2016 02:32

Interesting to see who Schurter will team up with for the Epic?

 

Would be cool if Sagan could also be there. 

He will be riding with fellow Swiss mountain biker Matthias Stirnemann for Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team. 

fanievb, Oct 05 2016 03:15

he must just be careful with his asthma when visiting dusty SA

Gen, Oct 06 2016 10:25

I think there would be a much bigger flood on twitter for him to ride the spring classics..

http://www.cyclingne.../calendar/2017/

They need to move the damn Epic to fit in with Sagan's schedule [emoji6]

Imagine Schurter and Sagan teaming up for the Epic.. yoh yoh and with the rule changes it could be done.. but I am afraid by the time Sagan is free to ride the Epic, Schurter will be 35/36 or so.. and plus Sagan still has plenty classics to win before we see him here..

Maybe one day we will see the Sagan brothers come and ride it.

Gen, Oct 06 2016 10:30

But it is great that Schurter will he back.. and I reckon unlike previous years he may just decide to go for the overall win in 2017..

'Dale, Oct 06 2016 11:20

he must just be careful with his asthma when visiting dusty SA

 

 

Hehehehe

True, true

 

#asmapompie

mtbride, Oct 06 2016 11:25

But it is great that Schurter will he back.. and I reckon unlike previous years he may just decide to go for the overall win in 2017..

 

Him and Phil Buys were aiming to win when they rode together ... If Buys was stronger they would probably have won it. I think once again in 2017 it's going to depend on how strong his partner is, as we know he is strong enough to win.

rudi-h, Oct 06 2016 12:19

Interesting to see who Schurter will team up with for the Epic?

 

Would be cool if Sagan could also be there. 

 

wrong time of year... March is prep time for Flanders