Kross Racing Shaping Up for Absa Cape Epic Assault
While all the eyes of the mountain biking world will be on the all-star Kross-Spur Racing line-up of Ariane Lüthi and Maja Włoszczowska their male counterparts are flying quietly under the radar. Sergio Mantecón Gutiérrez and Ondřej Cink are underestimated at one’s peril however as a few experienced teams may well discover.
The all-star line-up of Ariane Lüthi and Maja Włoszczowska, for Kross-Spur Racing, has ensured the attention of the mountain biking world on the Polish brand during the 2019 Absa Cape Epic. Benefiting from this are Lüthi and Włoszczowska’s stablemates Sergio Mantecón Gutiérrez and Ondřej Cink – who will be making their debut in the Untamed African Mountain Bike Race this March.
Mantecón Gutiérrez, the 34 year old Spanish rider in the Kross Racing squad, was ranked eleventh in the world after a successful XCO World Cup campaign. His Czech partner, Ondřej Cink, has a more turbulent 2018 season with a handful of stellar results interspersed with a couple of more disappointing races. The team’s chances at the 2019 Absa Cape Epic are thus tough to assess, but they are highly motivated to cause an upset or two on the trail to Val de Vie.
“It will be my first Absa Cape Epic and I’m very excited about it” Čink, who placed second at the 2018 Czech XCO Championships behind Jaroslav Kulhavý enthused. “It was one of my wishes to take part in this race. I always wanted to go, but there was some complications for participation – either I was too young for such a hard race or there was no partner I could race it with. But now I’m 28 years old, so the right time to do it. I’m glad for that.”
“I heard it is a really beautiful but hard race” the Czech rider recounted. “There are long stages in high temperatures and lots of dust, but I like hard conditions like these and I think that Sergio does too. So that’s why I believe that we can fight for the podium, it will be our goal. I’m expecting a huge experience because it’s a completely different race from all the others” Čink concluded.