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Brothers back for Epic
- Updated: March 19, 2011
The Fl┼▒ckiger brothers’ team of Lukas (26) and Mathias (22) from Switzerland will again participate in this year’s Absa Cape Epic presented by adidas, which takes place from 27 March to 3 April 2011.
The brothers, who have both participated with great success in many World Cup and World Championships, won the final stage of the 2009 Absa Cape Epic as well as stages six and seven of last year’s event, finishing in fourth position overall.
Says Lukas: ÔÇ£Two years ago we participated in our first Absa Cape Epic and had a lot of bad luck, but we learnt along the way and had a few good stages last year. We still have a lot of potential to do better in the future. We had so much fun the last two years and the Cape Epic is definitely the event for us, the real start of the season that will get us in good shape for the World Cup series starting three weeks later.ÔÇØ
Adds Mathias: ÔÇ£Yes, it’s always good preparation for the season. But it’s not just training as we’ll ride most of the stages at full gas! The whole event is unique, with the dinners and the evening programmes — it’s always amazing.ÔÇØ
Lukas reckons they have an advantage over the other riders because they are brothers. ÔÇ£I can’t ride with another partner. Mathias is like a second part of me and vice versa. We need each other. We have no bad conversations during the race week. He knows what I need and I know everything about him too and that is one of the best important factors in this event. A good example is when we want to attack, we can read each other without speaking, just from our body language, and we know how fast we must go without communicating it vocally.ÔÇØ
Mathias adds they really know each other well and consider each other every day. ÔÇ£Some days Luk is better, then other days I’m better, and we must always think of the other when there is a big difference.ÔÇØ
For the past couple of years, Mathias was completing his education and military service. ÔÇ£We had completely different training times, but we’ll train together as much as possible in the future. My training is similar to that of other pro World Cup riders. In the winter, longer road rides with power training in the gym. In the summer, more mountain bike rides with lots of intervals. I try to eat very healthily but in the winter I always need a time where I can eat anything! It’s good for motivation, and a reward for all the hard training which is coming up,ÔÇØ says Lukas.
For Mathias, he went to the Sport Military and did his national service. ÔÇ£I did all my training there and Luk did his at home or in some other training camps. But during the season later this year, we’ll train together again. Some days I do a lot of training for up to seven hours and then some are recovery days with just two hours of training. But I follow a diet the whole year as it’s very important. I’m always looking at what I eat and how much I can or must eat. It can sometimes be very complicated.ÔÇØ
Lukas reckons one of the most important factors to complete the Absa Cape Epic is to ÔÇ£keep it easy in the first few days because days six, seven and eight are the hardest of the event. Also, try to have fun and enjoy the ride,┬áall day. Try to relax, recover and get more than eight hours sleep.ÔÇØ Mathias adds that you need good equipment, and get the right foods.
ÔÇ£Sometimes it’s very difficult to eat enough for breakfast because the start is always very fast – like a cyclo-cross race and so early at 7am, and you just don’t have enough time to digest the breakfast. The more important thing is to drink a lot the whole week — you must┬á always have a bottle of water with you and keep topping up your hydrationÔÇª before, during and after.ÔÇØ
With regards to last year’s race, Lukas comments that it was one of the hardest weeks in the whole season. ÔÇ£But also one I enjoyed very much!ÔÇØ Mathias remembers the warm weather, ÔÇ£and also the nice feeling when we crossed the finish line.ÔÇØ
Their advice to young athletes is to keep cool and take it easy, have fun riding and do it because they like to.
In his free time, Mathias is very interested in technology, whether it is a bike or other machines, all of it interests him. He would like a podium finish at the World Cup and World Championships. Lukas enjoys working around the house and improving it, and in the winter, cyclo-cross and ski-touring. ÔÇ£I would like to say at the end of the year that this was one of the best and nicest years in my life. So, I’m on the best way to do this.ÔÇØ
From 27 March to 3 April, all eyes will be on the Western Cape as the world’s top riders vie for position in what is billed to be the most competitive event in the race’s history. Mountain biking enthusiasts not participating in the Absa Cape Epic are invited to enter the Cape Times Vigne-a-Vigne mountain bike race. The race promises participants breathtaking scenery and spectacular mountain biking terrain, and cyclists will be given the opportunity to enter either the 50km or 27km challenges. Interested riders can register online at www.vigne-a-vigne.com.