In 2022, the Alpina watch brand has teamed up with the world of mountain biking. As its new partners, it has chosen the riders of the Canyon Northwave MTB Team, which is led by one of the most successful and experienced bikers on the planet – Kristian Hynek. The entire team is now preparing for the extremely challenging Absa Cape Epic stage race, which will take place in South Africa from 19th to 26th March 2023.
The nineteenth edition of the extremely challenging Absa Cape Epic mountain bike marathon will once again take place over 8 days, from 19th to 26th March 2023. During the eight extremely difficult stages, riders will struggle with dust, rocks, sand and most likely extreme temperatures. They will have to ride a total of 658 kilometers across the Western Cape with an elevation gain of 15,775 meters but there will also be plenty of singletracks which are typical for this race. However, the Canyon Northwave MTB Team is already training hard for the brutal ascents and technical descents.
Under the supervision of team manager Kristian Hynek two racing duos are preparing for the queen of stage race, the Absa Cape Epic. He personally won this stage race together with Robert Mennen in 2014 and then came second twice in a pair with three times world champion Alban Lakata. He is therefore in a great position to lead the team. During his career Kristian also won two bronze (2012, 2016) and one silver medal (2019) from the World Championships, the European Marathon title (2012), two Czech XCM titles (2013, 2018) and a whole lot of other world achievements which makes him the perfect team leader who has plenty of experience to pass on.
The first duo is composed of Martin Stošek and Andreas Seewald. Martin, who is one of the world’s top marathon riders, has the title of Czech Republic champion, a bronze medal from the 2020 World Championship and the 2021 European Championship has partnered with Andreas who won the UCI World Mountain Bike Marathon title in 2021, was second at the World Championship 2022 and became the German national champion. Last year they both dominated the race until the last stage when they lost the overall lead and finished second. It means that this year they are hungrier for success more than ever before!
At the start in the picturesque area of the Meerendal Wine Estate, the Canyon Northwave MTB Team will be accompanied by a second duo, including the new addition to the team, the promising Swiss rider Marc Stutzmann.
Three questions for Andreas Seewald
How do you prepare for such a difficult race as the Absa Cape Epic?
I train between 15 to 30 hours a week throughout the season but it really depends on whether or not there are any races going on at the particular time. Currently I’m somewhere around 20 hours a week in the saddle. There is a bit problem with the timing, because the Cape Epic is in the second half of March, which means there’s still cold weather here in Europe. That means there is necessary to organize training camps. We did a training camp in Mallorca and now we are getting prepared for Spain with the team in January. Also, we need to arrive in Africa in advance, mainly for acclimatization.
How many times have you participated in this marathon?
I had the opportunity to start twice at Cape Epic. Both times we had really good chances to win, but although we were in really good shape, we had big complications in the last stage and didn’t manage to win. We will try to fix that now again with Martin Stošek. I believe we will manage to leave our rivals behind us to show them our back which, by the way, feature Alpina Watches logo. We just need to avoid mistakes and of course have some luck.
What kind of watch are you wearing?
I am wearing a mechanical Alpina Startimer Pilot Heritage. I really like their simple minimalist dial which is really easy to see and read even while I’m doing any kind of sport. I think it’s a great fit for me and I wear them almost all the time.
Alpina will join Canyon Northwave MTB team for the extreme marathon race Cape Epic in Africa