Swiss Epic

The seventh year of the Swiss Epic stage race is just before its start, we believe that the situation from March, when the more famous Cape Epic was canceled just a day before the start, will not be repeated. The start list of the Swiss company is strikingly reminiscent of that of South Africa. Among other things, the last winning pair of Cape Epic – a stellar home duo – Nino Schurter and Lars Forster (Scott Sram) – will appear at the start. This would probably not happen during “normal” operation. Eleven Czechs will be introduced, five of them elite Czech marathon runners who will strive for medal positions. 

As the organizers report: “We have prepared 333 breathtaking alpine kilometers and the best of Swiss hospitality in the canton of Graubünden!” Yes, Swiss Epic definitely does not excel in the length of its stages, but in its beauty, but at the same time in its sophistication and elevation. From Tuesday to Saturday, the competitors will cross the Alps from Laax, through Aros to Davos. During this trip, they climb a total of 12,850 meters.

Swiss Epic 2020Stage 1 Laax – Laax 64 km / 2,600 m2nd stage Laax – Arosa 74 km / 2,700 m3rd stage Arosa – Arosa 59 km / 2,500 mStage 4 Arosa – Davos 76 km / 2,800 mStage 5 Davos – Davos 60 km / 2,250 m 

Swiss Epic is the European stop of the Epic marathon series (  ) and is a guarantee of quality from the very beginning. Its founder and main organizer is the legendary Thomas Frischknecht, currently also the manager of the successful team Scott Sram, who knows everything about racing and racing. His organizing team is looking for new tracks every year, as is customary in the “EPIC” series at all races.

So if we couldn’t enjoy the fights at Cape Epic, now we will have the opportunity to get a taste of Swiss Epic. How great the hunger for international races is is shown by the start list, which is dominated by the domestic Schurter and Forster with number one. However, in order to keep the number one to the finish line, they must carefully guard their strong competitors from Italy in the Trek Pirelli jersey of Fabian Rabensteiner and Samuelle Porr or the Austrian-German pair Daniel Geismayer and Ben Zwiehoff (Centurion Vaude) as well as a strong pair of Bulls of Urs Huber and Simon Stiebjahn. “We consider Geisi and Ben and the boys with the Bulls, apart from Nina and Lars, of course, to be the biggest favorites,” said Kristián Hynek.

Czech fans are guaranteed to keep their fingers crossed for him. The Czech pair, which was supposed to have their big premiere at Cape Epic, ie Kristián Hynek and Martin Stošek (Future Cycling – Northwave) are considered the black horses of this year’s Swiss Epic. They have a chance. The main thing that plays into their cards is that they are racing. Local knowledge of local tracks. 

Kristián and Martin just before the start of Cape Epic 2019, in a few hours they learned that the race is canceled … 

“It’s an advantage to know here, both mentally and physically. But I think there are probably few people who will know the whole route in advance. Probably only Nino and Lars 🙂 They will probably know it. I’m not worried about that, That would not be enough for them uphill, but rather downhill.It will be stressful.In 2011 I rode Swiss Epic with Alban and then I said that they started to race not only uphill but also uphill.And since then in the marathon “It’s true that if someone knows that, they will have a huge advantage,” Kristián predicted, who has been in Switzerland since Wednesday, but didn’t have much opportunity to load the routes. “The organizers deliberately did not give an exact description of the track or the GPX for download. According to the Diet of Others, I just read the fifth and the fourth stage,” admitted Kristián, who will meet with Martin today.  

“We have been racing for several months and we are leaving at Swiss Epic very motivated. After being forced to take a break from the races, we are more than ever looking forward to returning to a stage race of this quality,” said Kristián, who is known with their high ambitions. 

“We are hungry for a good result and I believe we are both in good shape. The overall podium is our goal!” Kristián definitely said. “I think we will be able to fight for the highest positions,” confirmed Martin Stošek. “Obviously, it’s been almost half a year since we raced together in Cyprus at the beginning of the season. But I believe we can find the rhythm again and achieve a good result. We are lucky to have already raced in the Czech Republic, this summer we have taken part in a number of races, which means that we know what form we are coming to Swiss Epic with. “

Kristián in training in the Swiss Alps …

“We are really looking forward to racing in such strong competition. I’m sure every elite rider feels the same and is really happy that our sport can start again at the highest level!” added Kristián. 

After six years, Jaroslav Kulhavý, who will ride with the Danish biker Simon Andreassen, will also return to the start of the race. “I’m glad it’s finally a big world race. The competition will be top. I’m riding with Simon for the first time, but I’m looking forward to it. He’s already a very good racer and he’s technically great. It’s going to be important in long and technical runs that are specific to Swiss Epic, “Jára, the winner of this year ‘s Ostrava Chachar, told us. 

“I would say that the form is good, I have a 14-day training block behind me. Yesterday there was a small test on Chachar, where I was already rested and I had a nice ride. So I am probably satisfied with the form. what suits me, anyway, because it will be five days, it will be a little flattened and it could fit me in the end, “added Jára. 

Adelheid Morath and Bettina Janas, a pair of lawyers from Germany, will be missing from the start, but in this year’s competition, with all due respect, these ladies would not have a chance for another triumph. Annika Langvad (DEN) and Halley Batten (USA), bikers of the Specialized factory team, are rightly considered the biggest favorites. But the undefeated couple will definitely not have it easy, we will see what the promising home couple Sina Frei and Nicole Koller or the former partner of Annika Arianne Lüthi, who is riding in a pair with the Belgian Alice Pirard, will perform. And without medal ambitions, there is definitely not a single Czech participant, Karla Štěpánová, who will fight alongside Linda Indergand.

“I feel excited, but at the same time I have respect from Swiss Epic … it will be long and hard! In recent years I have actually ridden only the XCO stage in Cyprus, but it is something completely different. One hundred years ago I completed the Trans Rockies in Canada but I would say that I have forgotten all the experience Linda is also not completely used to this type of racing, so we take it as one big MTB adventure! We don’t really know what to expect at all! Anyway, we’re really looking forward to it and we exchange a few messages every night about who’s on it … Linda said she bought us a lot of food for the trip, so if it doesn’t work, we’ll give us a Swiss Picknick! “

Tomas Pribyl – Swiss Epic 2019I took last year’s Swiss Epic a bit like saying goodbye to big stage races in my bike life. In addition, the entry fee was a gift to the logs of my faithful partner Markus. After many years, I was the only Czech in this stage. It’s an expensive affair, but I didn’t regret it! Quite different than Cape Epic. At first glance, the itinerary may lead you to the idea that it is a less demanding company, the stages are not kilometers long, but the opposite is true. When I tell someone about it, perhaps the best example is that I fell more times during the Swiss Epic than in my other fourteen stage races in my life. Many descents really have the highest technical complexity, they are often led on hiking trails, where cyclists are not really considered. When it’s wet, the difficulty multiplies and walking comes into play. Securing the race is at a high level, they sleep in hotels and their staff is more than helpful to the competitors. I would like to return to the magical alpine scenery, but it will probably be on the younger ones …

In addition to the aforementioned five elite Czech bikers, there will be six other amateur cyclists at the start, which is still a record number of Czechs at the Swiss Epic. Two pairs already have experience from Cape Epic – Patrik Nešpor and Jan Gábriš (GAPP System – Kolofix) in the men’s category and Luboš Kouble and Tomáš Hromádko (Mitas Textra) in the Masters category. Pavel Pastrnek and David Studýnka will also compete in the SK Ski Velo Deaf jersey in the same group.