INSIDE THE CAPE EPIC WITH MTB TEAM TREK SELLE SAN MARCO

The mountain biking event of the year is approaching. Sunday, March 13th with the prologue of Meerendal Wine Estate will start the 13th edition of the Cape Epic, the world’s premier and toughest mountain bike stage race for two-person teams on the untamed paths through the Western Cape (South Africa). Selle San Marco will be there with the MTB Team Trek Selle San Marco and two pairs: Damiano Ferraro and the Marathon Italian Champion Samuele Porro and the other one formed by Ivan Alvarez Gutierrez with Fabian Rabensteiner.

Let’s find out their feelings and expectations in this interview.

MTB TEAM TREK-SELLE SAN MARCO A

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What are your ambitions for the 2016 race – overall win/podium/stage wins etc?

SAMUELE PORRO

I suppose it will be hard to fight for the general classification in this competition, because this is our first time there and you should not commit any mistake to aim to the top and leader jersey. But I think we will be strong enough to get some good result in stage finishes.

DAMIANO FERRARO

It would be nice to win at least one stage in the competition and try to get the better possible total score in the championship. For sure we will look forward to be in the top positions.

How has the training been going so far?

SAMUELE PORRO

I’m satisfied with my training so far. We just came back from Mexico, where we stayed for one month of training with all the team. Then the winter has not been so cold and so I trained in Italy. No need to travel to most sunny place.

DAMIANO FERRARO

I trained at my best because the Cape Epic 2016 will be definitely one of our most important target of the season. For sure I will be there in my better conditions.

Have you raced stage races together before before and have you been training together?

SAMUELE PORRO

I’ll join Damiano in his team and so for me this season will be almost “new”. But as far as concern the feeling with my team-mate in Cape Epic, I have to say I suppose to know him enough because we are both Italians and we raced many competitions in the past as rivals so we know qualities and weak points of each other.

DAMIANO FERRARO

We know each other very well but as rivals. The month spent training in Mexico has been very useful to deep the knowledge as team-mates and there we raced both some off-road and road events together. This is the first time we ride together as a couple, but I think we have the right feeling.

What bike will you be riding? And the saddle?

BOTH: We will be riding the new TREK Top Fuel 9.9

DAMIANO FERRARO Definitely the best saddle for me: the Selle San Marco Mantra Cfx Protek Narrow. I tried it following the suggestion of the DiMA Selector tool and thought immediately that it was the saddle. This is the second season with it: a warranty of success.

SAMUELE PORRO Selle San Marco Mantra Cfx Protek Narrow is my saddle too. Unlike Damiano, I did not know this brand and model, but as soon as I tried it I felt good. DiMA Selector tool suggested it to me and this saddle is really the good one.

This is the first time you have done the Absa Cape Epic. What have you heard about the race and what are you expecting?

DAMIANO FERRARO I heard about very unusual terrains and paths, with very technical and difficult conditions too, but we will be prepared for that too.

SAMUELE PORRO Yes, it will be the first time for me there, but this competition is so famous and with a lot of media interest that it seems to me to have already done it. I watch on tv every stages of the past editions. So even if I never been on that roads, I can say I have already a good idea of the strategies to adopt.

MTB TEAM TREK-SELLE SAN MARCO B

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What are your ambitions for the 2016 race – overall win/podium/stage wins etc?

IVAN ALVAREZ GUTIERREZ

This is the first target of the season and we start at full throttle. We will be there with two teams and we are going to support Porro-Ferraro pairing too.

The strongest bikers in the world will compete there, but above all you challenge yourself. This will be my idea of success more than a stage podium. My priority is to finish the Absa Cape Epic safely and try to do the best to earn UCI points.

FABIAN RABENSTEINER

I’ll ride the Cape Epic with the aim to gain a lot of experience. Of course I wish to do well in some stages. First of all I want to repay the trust of the team that gave me this opportunity. I would be honoured if I can fight and oppose top riders worldwide famous, even if I will not take wins or stage podium. Maybe our weakness is that we are going to be riding our first Cape Epic, but we’re ready to fight!

How has the training been going so far?

IVAN ALVAREZ GUTIERREZ

Last year I began the season very strong, taking wins and podiums soon. So I repeat the winter training plus with the team we stayed in Mexico for one month and I think I just need to maintain the form for the Cape Epic.

FABIAN RABENSTEINER

I think that last year I could take some more best results, if only I did a better training during winter and during the season. For this reason this time I changed my way of training: training more, for more time and with more quality. Let’s see the result soon.

Have you raced stage races together before and have you been training together?

IVAN ALVAREZ GUTIERREZ

Yes, we have, because Fabian joined the team last year and we know each other well, even if we never raced together as a pair, but I suppose it will be not a problem at all.

FABIAN RABENSTEINER

I’m young and I think it will be essential to entrust the Ivan’s experience. We share similar features: both adapt for cross-country, but with a good endurance in marathon. It will be a pleasure riding with him.

What bike will you be riding? And what saddle?

BOTH: We will be riding the new TREK Top Fuel 9.9

IVAN ALVAREZ GUTIERREZ: My saddle is the Selle San Marco Concor Carbon Fx Protek Wide. This model was suggested to me by the tool DiMA Selector. I tried it and it seemed to be perfect immediately. Trainings and races certified so. I’m really happy because I found the best comfort and the best performance.

FABIAN RABENSTEINER: I ride the Selle San Marco Aspide Carbon Fx Protek Narrow. As for Ivan, last year when I joined the team I chose the saddle with the DiMA Selector and the result was perfect.

This is the first time you have done the Absa Cape Epic. What have you heard about the race and what are you expecting?

IVAN ALVAREZ GUTIERREZ

If it is told to be the Tour de France of Mountain Biking, it means that it is really an event of worldwide importance and fame. Talking about off-road races, it is known to be the toughest MTB races on the planet. I’m expecting it will be really as it is described to be and I can’t wait to test myself. Maybe because I don’t yet realize what awaits me. I’ll tell you when I come back.

FABIAN RABENSTEINER

I rode some demanding races, but never as this one. I think it will be a good test to know better my limits and then go beyond them. I expect so much effort, but also a lot of emotions, because we will experience amazing landscapes and the thrill of this world’s greatest mountain biking stage race.

Now let’s enjoy some pics from South Africa taken during the training before the start of race

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