Gaze to partner with Kulhavy for Investec-songo-Specialized

In an unfortunate turn of events, American cyclist Howard Grotts, has announced his withdrawal from the 2019 Absa Cape Epic after falling ill over the past couple of weeks. Twice U23 World Champion and Stellenbosch World Cup victor, Sam Gaze, will now be partnering with Jaroslav Kulhavy in defence of the Absa Cape Epic title for Investec-songo-Specialized.

CEM_5630.jpg
Jaroslav Kulhavy. Photo credit: Michal Cerveny.

 

“I am obviously disappointed that I won’t be racing with Howie for this year’s Absa Cape Epic,” Kulhavy said from his home in the Czech Republic, as he prepares to fly out to South Africa for the big race, which starts in 10 days in Cape Town. “We had a really good race last year and we were hoping to build on that. But it’s important for Howie to take the time now to recover completely so that he can be healthy for the rest of the season.”

 

“Sam is a super talented rider and I am excited to see what he can do in this type of race. We have been teammates for the past four years so we know each other well. I’m looking forward to the new challenge with Sami in Africa!”

 

Sam Gaze.jpg
Sam Gaze. Photo Credit: Michal Cerveny.

 

Alan Hatherly will now be partnering with fellow South African and training partner, Matt Beers from Team NAD Pro MTB. The Specialized Foundation-NAD pairing will be racing in support of Kulhavy and Gaze but will also have their eyes on the coveted African Jersey, awarded to the best-placed African team after eight gruelling days of racing.

 

Alan Hatherly.jpgAlan Hatherly. Photo credit: Etienne Schoeman.
Matt Beers Cape Epic.jpgMatt Beers during stage 6 of the 2018 Absa Cape Epic. Photo by Nina Zimolong/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

songo.info Founder and trustee, Christoph Sauser will be Mr Miyagi to 21-year-old Danish cyclist, Simon Andreassen, providing valuable insight and experience to Simon and the team as a whole. “My journey with the Absa Cape Epic has now spanned over 14 years, and it’s been cool to see both songo.info and the Cape Epic grow and evolve. My first Epic was in 2006 and now, in 2019, my role has changed from pro athlete to backup team captain and mentor to the younger riders on the team. It’s a new challenge for this retired athlete, and I am eager to contribute to the team’s success!”

 

The Investec-songo-Specialized women’s pairing of Annika Langvad and Anna van der Breggen remains unchanged, and they are set to arrive in Cape Town early next week, after taking on the Italian classic road race Strade Bianche this coming Saturday.

 

songo.info celebrates 11 years as a cycling and education support programme for children from the Kayamandi township in Stellenbosch on Thursday, 7 March at a cycling superstar-studded fundraising event taking place at Jack Black’s Brewery in Diep River. While Kulhavy will be en route to Cape Town, his new Investec-songo-Specialized teammate Gaze, as well as Hatherly, Beers, Sauser and Andreassen will all be in attendance. Tickets for the event are still available to the public and popular local band, Watershed, will be performing tracks from their recently launched album.

 




39 Comments

Andrew Steer, Mar 05 2019 03:49

Hmmm... I wonder if Gaze is going to be able to keep his cool for 8 days in the hurt locker

Could be very interesting

Robbie Stewart, Mar 05 2019 04:24

So now at least Hatherly will not have to put up with a griping, whinging, spoiled little tantrum thrower, and will be able to focus on getting stage wins (and hopefully the race).

Gaze will be introduced to racing by a real man...

karma, Mar 05 2019 05:00

Hmmm... I wonder if Gaze is going to be able to keep his cool for 8 days in the hurt locker

Could be very interesting

 

You totally missed the window for "keep his Kul..."

 

I'll get my coat.

splat, Mar 05 2019 05:17

Happy about the Hatherly / Beers partnership - is that our strongest South African combo ?

MvdP, Mar 05 2019 05:37

I wonder how close they came to asking Susi

Andrew Steer, Mar 05 2019 05:56

You totally missed the window for "keep his Kul..."

 

I'll get my coat.

Or, how many days does it take to Kul a Kiwi?

J Wakefield, Mar 05 2019 06:06

SOOOOOOO PUUUUUUMMMPEDD!!!!!

Long Wheel Base, Mar 05 2019 07:41

Yeah this is good news for us. Admin deleted my posts when I voiced my opinion about Gaze on the last thread about them joining up. So this time I will just keep quite about how big of a box I think Gaze is.

Goooooo Alan and Matt. African jersey FTW!!!

BaGearA, Mar 05 2019 07:55

I predict Jaro will break Gaze by day 4/5 and then Beers and Alan will come through and probably win the African jersey as well as do quite well on GC 

 

probably top 20 

Jaco-fiets, Mar 05 2019 08:07

Why are negative opinions about Gaze deleted??

 

Not going to take away from the fact that he is a d*ck of note!!!!

Lighthouse, Mar 05 2019 09:08

Feel sorry for Grotts but delighted about the Hatherley/Beers combo.

 

Maybe Coolharvey will be good for Gaze?

babse, Mar 05 2019 09:50

Very interesting indeed... Kulhavy is a absolute machine but what's his current fitness like? Recon him and Gaze will be a powerful combination. Still recon this is Cannondale FR year!

Also think Alan and beers will do well in the overall. Alan surely prefers his best mate and training partner over gaze.

Red jersey comp will be a very interesting one with the pyga boys obvious favorites. Not to write off the giant combo of Joubert and Carstens.

Looking forward to it.

DieselnDust, Mar 05 2019 11:11

Minor correction to the article. Sauser rode his first Cape Epic in 2005 not 2006.

CogitoErgoSum, Mar 06 2019 08:02

Yeah, it is clear Gaze will crack as early as stage 2.

But it irks me that our best talent is riding "in support of" international riders. That is just stupid. Hatherly is much stronger than Gaze. The pairing with Beers is more stable even if Gaze is on valium for the whole tour.

If I were Harterly/Beers, there is no way I am stopping and assisting a team I fully know I can beat

Michieldt, Mar 06 2019 08:26

Yeah, it is clear Gaze will crack as early as stage 2.

But it irks me that our best talent is riding "in support of" international riders. That is just stupid. Hatherly is much stronger than Gaze. The pairing with Beers is more stable even if Gaze is on valium for the whole tour.

If I were Harterly/Beers, there is no way I am stopping and assisting a team I fully know I can beat

 

Unfortunately they will have to listen to whoever signs their pay checks.

 

They will be good early on and then fade away.

 

Cannondale for the win with scott boys in the mix

Squier, Mar 06 2019 08:54

Good news for Alan! Not having to put up with 8 days of tantrums will serve him well.

J Wakefield, Mar 06 2019 08:59

Unfortunately they will have to listen to whoever signs their pay checks.

 

They will be good early on and then fade away.

 

Cannondale for the win with scott boys in the mix

 

Who will fade?

dsw, Mar 06 2019 09:00

I see here are a lot of bad vibes towards Sam Gaze. Is it only because of the bird he flipped at a teammate during the Commonwealth games or did he do something else as well?

Michieldt, Mar 06 2019 09:15

Who will fade?

 My opinion is that gaze and kulhavy will fade. They are going to come out gunz blazing but having such different styles and approach to racing they will either work great or wear each other out. there are always teething problems with new pairings. I see no one mentions frichi and nino i think they will also start strong and then have the same problem as gaze and kulhavy.  It’s going to be a great epic with no clear favourites and lots of new combos. Plat / Lakata on paper sounds awsum as well.

Ramrod, Mar 06 2019 09:17

I wonder if team orders will come into play or if Hathels and Beers will be able to go for the overall as well?

MvdP, Mar 06 2019 09:58

 That is just stupid. Hatherly is much stronger than Gaze.

that's quite a statement.

I suppose time will tell as they are both now in elite for WC, but has Alan ever beaten Gaze?

SJG, Mar 06 2019 09:59

Gaze has raced 7 races in South Africa in the last year. 1 xc world cup - gold. Cape mtb and songo mtb - both gold. Argus road - silver. 2 x cat 1 mtb - both silver. Tankwa Trek stage 1 - silver after having virus for 3 weeks. Friendly and polite to All SA fans and media.... not quite sure what all the commentators are on about with either his ability or attitude???

Long Wheel Base, Mar 06 2019 10:03

I see here are a lot of bad vibes towards Sam Gaze. Is it only because of the bird he flipped at a teammate during the Commonwealth games or did he do something else as well?

There have been a few "incidents". He has also said a few things about other riders post race when things don't go his way. I won't bother digging for the dirt as it will be deleted.

SJG, Mar 06 2019 10:07

I presume most of you on here are riders.... ripping another rider apart because he apparently has BAD attitude (for "incidents" sat8ng a few things about other riders..) Thank goodness you guys are not at all like that aye... haha

HDW, Mar 06 2019 10:48

I don't understand how everyone says Sam Gaze will fade - you wanting him to have a bad Epic won't necessarily make it so. He is an incredible MTBer and will do well. He might be a box, but that's none of my business. If you think he will not be up to the task of riding the Epic then you are wrong.