Cape Town – Viewed by many as 2015 ABSA Cape Epic ‘underdogs’, Kargo Pro MTB’s Swedish/South African duo of Emil Lindgren and Brendon Davids are confident their recent good run of form in the local cross country scene will stand them in good stead to spring a few surprises at Sunday’s prologue in Cape Town.
Lindgren and Davids flew through the streets of Kayamandi on Wednesday evening en route to adding a respective second and sixth place in the 2015 Aramex songo.info Champions race to their brace of solid performances at the recent provincial and STIHL SA MTB Cup Series opening legs in Port Elizabeth.
Despite their recent good run of form, the pair continue to fly under the radar ahead of the start of the globally renowned eight day MTB clash – something that sits comfortably with Davids though as he eyes out Sunday sprint along the paths of the iconic Table Mountain.
“I thrive on proving people wrong and enjoy being seen as somewhat of an underdog,” confirms Davids. “Being underdogs, we can also look to race off some of the other teams as they look to do a lot of the pace setting.”
“We’d definitely like to do well in the prologue! The last couple of weeks have been good for both Emil so we know we’re going well in the short stuff, hopefully we can carry a bit of that momentum into Sunday and then we can take things from there regarding our tactics for the rest of the race.”
“I used to do a lot of high performance testing as a junior on the Table Mountain trails so it will be great to be back there again this weekend and I’m sure it will be a really great spectacle for spectators as well!” he adds.
The 2015 Epic will be Davids’ debut appearance at the international spectacle while Lindgren’s fourth Cape Epic appearance represents the primary focus the Swedish National Cross Country Champion’s seven week early season stint in South Africa.
Both however list the UCI MTB World Cup as their primary focus of the 2015 calendar though and hope their Cape Epic effort will hold them in good stead ahead of the opening leg in Czech Republic in May.
“I’m really looking forward to the challenge of the Epic!” says Davids. “It is such a big event and will require me to take my body to new levels more than once!”
“Through Shaun (Peschl) and the Kargo team as well as my coach, Jeroen Swart, we’ve got a really good support structure so we’re definitely going to give it a good tonk!
“I’m confident the test of the Epic will also benefit us both hugely going forward, especially at the World Cups which is our real focus of the year.”
Surprisingly the pair only met for the first time on Lindgren’s arrival in South Africa a couple of weeks ago, however the adjustment to racing together has been a relatively simple one.
“Getting to know Emil and us gelling as a combination has actually been pretty seamless,” says Davids.
“The Epic is all new to me so I’m really lucky to have someone like Emil to help me through it.
“There will be patches where I’ll just have to suck it up and push through the pain but Emil was a similar age to what I am now when he did his first Epic so if anyone understands what I’ll be going through, he does!”
Just as the Mother City appears to have doused a flurry of devastating fires that set much of the Southern Peninsula ablaze for eight long days, the Western Cape’s fire fighters have been sent into overdrive once more as a runaway veld fire saw Jonkershoek break out in flames on Monday 9 March.
With the fire reportedly nearing a portion of the Cape Epic route, Lindgren and Davids joined fellow cyclists in donating their winning from the Aramex songo.info Champions race to a local cause with the pair choosing to help the local fire fighting effort.
“We’re staying in Stellenbosch and to see the fire go around the mountain towards where we’ll be riding over the next couple of days is pretty scary!” explains Davids.
“The trails in Jonkershoek are apparently almost entirely gone and portions of the University had to be evacuated on Wednesday.
“It has been unbelievable how the whole town has pulled together to try fight the fire though!
“People have been taking food parcels to their local bikes who in turn have then taken the food out to the hungry, tired fire fighters in the mountains.
“Some of the guys such as like Fabian Giger chose to give their winnings to organisations such as songo.info but we felt that the work that the firemen and women to get the fire under control has been unreal!
“Every R500, or even just R200, helps at this stage and so that’s who we donated our prize money to,” he adds.
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