On ambassadors Lüthi and De Groot shine at Swiss Epic

On ambassadors Lüthi and De Groot shine at Swiss Epic

Ariane Lüthi and Robyn De Groot make a formidable mountain-biking team, and already have a list of triumphs under their belts. Individually, De Groot was a bronze medallist at the 2019 UCI Marathon World Championships, and has won six South African marathon championships, while Lüthi has won the Absa Cape Epic five times (three times in the women’s category and twice in the mixed category), and is a four-time Swiss marathon champion. Now, the MTB powerhouses can add the 2021 Swiss Epic to their list, after racing to victory in the recently held mountain bike stage race. 

Taking place in On’s homeland, the Swiss Epic is a five-day extreme endurance mountain bike event that was held from 17 to 21 August. The race had a total distance of 327km and 11 000m of elevation, and took place in the picturesque Swiss Alps, kicking off in St. Moritz, through Valposchiavo, and ending in Davos.

Lüthi and De Groot won the women’s category in a time of 3 hours, 35 minutes and 9 seconds, almost three minutes ahead of the second-place finishers, after staking their claim by winning all five stages of the race.

Following their win, Lüthi said that the pair was thrilled, and that they had a huge team of supporters behind them.

“We’re incredibly happy. Everything went super smoothly throughout the Swiss Epic in Graubünden. We had an amazing support team – with our mechanic, our soigneur and my boyfriend’s parents – helping us along the way and after every stage. My boyfriend, Frans Claes, sadly couldn’t finish the race but I hope it makes him happy to see Robyn and me winning.”

The women now head into the next Epic series event as the favourites. The flagship Absa Cape Epic takes place from 17 to 24 October this year – the world’s largest full service mountain bike stage race takes place over eight days, and sees riders traverse approximately 700km of unspoilt landscape, with a vertical ascent of no less than 16 000m.

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