Annika Langvad and Anna van der Breggen during stage 3 of the 2019 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from Oak Valley Estate in Elgin, South Africa on the 20th March 2019. Photo by Sam Clark/Cape Epic
With all due respect to Platt and Sauser, who will both be riding in 2020, they are now unlikely to add to their title hauls. Father time waits for no man after all, and both legends are in their forties now. Langvad seems unlikely not to add to her list of wins. Especially as she is partnered by an Olympic champion. Their participation in The Race That Measures All was not a guarantee, however.
Jenny Rissveds during stage 3 of the 2017 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from Elandskloof in Greyton, South Africa on the 22nd March 2017. Photo by Ewald Sadie/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS
The Dane rides for the Specialized Racing XCO team, the American manufacturer’s factory outfit. The Swede meanwhile races for her own Team 31, aboard Specialized bicycles, to raise awareness of the United Nation’s Article 31. “I’ve always liked Jenny’s approach to being an athlete. Yes, we’re on the same bike but really this is a personal choice” Langvad explained. “Well, obviously there is a connection with regards to Specialized but this was all about the connection between Annika and me. We simply wanted to do it together” Rissveds concurred.
Annika Langvad and Anna van der Breggen during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2019 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from the University of Stellenbosch Sports Fields in Stellenbosch to Val de Vie Estate in Paarl, South Africa on the 24th March 2019. Photo by Sam Clark/Cape Epic
It appears that it will not just be the children of the world who are encouraged to play and have fun in 2020. Langvad, who has tended towards being stoic and serious at the Absa Cape Epic, seems eager to take a more light-hearted approach into this year’s race. “The Absa Cape Epic can be a good primer for the rest of the season, but it can also take a lot out you. The psychological aspect, in particular, shouldn’t be underestimated” the 2016 Cross Country World Champion pointed out. “Having the right team and settings to make you comfortable is key and I’m already thriving on this year’s setup. Jenny and I are looking to define the experience in our own special way. And that’s what motivates me.”