Cape Town 100228. The ABSA Cape Epic 2010 comes to an end to today with the final stage from Oak Valley to Lourensford. 2010 ABSA Cape Epic winners cross the Line(L)Stefan Sahm, (R) Karl Platt. PHOTO SAM CLARK

Johannesburg – Four-time Absa Cape Epic winner Karl Platt says he is fit and ready to get this year's 698km endurance race underway, and hopes to claim another title when the race starts on March 17.

Winner of the Cape Epic in 2004 with partner Mannie Heymans, and 2007, 2009 and 2010 with Stefan Sahm, Platt will return for the 10th edition of the event, starting in Citrusdal and ending at Lourensford Wine Estate on March 24.

“I’ve participated in all the Cape Epics since its inception,” Platt said on Monday.

“It has become a unique race over the years and a huge part of my career, but the main thing is that I love to race it. In the nine years of riding the Cape Epic, I got smarter but not younger.

“Honestly, I think there are lots of stories I can share. It’s a lifetime experience.”

Platt has claimed two German Marathon Championship titles, seven TransAlp victories, a TransRockies win, and a TransGermany title, but he believed the Epic provided one of the most difficult mountainbike challenges in the world.

“There are so many memorable experiences, but they’re all tough,” he said.

“The best part of any race is to win it, of course, and the worst part is getting up at 5am. I’m really not a morning person and very grumpy.

“Patience and endurance are the most important ingredients to finishing the race. Also, train hard and eat less.”

Platt, who will be riding with Urs Huber in this year’s event, said he did not enjoy the days between stages and preferred the first and last legs of the event.

“I don't like the middle because the finish is too far away and you’re already tired. I also really look forward to some beer at the finish.” – Sapa