Karl Platt on his way to victory at MTN Tulbagh earlier this year | Photo: Zoon Cronje

The multiple Absa Cape Epic winning German will be racing on African soil for the first time since his heart breaking withdrawal from Cape Epic earlier this year due to a knee injury. "I was really disappointed after pulling out of the Epic and had to make sure the knee was good again, my training is still easy but I hope to have competitive shape when I come to South Africa for MTN Clarens" said Platt.

Platt, currently ranked second on the MTN National MTB Series driven by Nissan standings, finished 2nd and 1st at the MTN Sabie and MTN Tulbagh events respectively. This will be his first trip to the town of Clarens "Stefan Sahm told me how awesome the course was last year and that was my main reason deciding to come back to race in SA, I am really looking forward to race there" Platt commented.

According to Platt he will be using the event to build towards World Marathon Champs at the end of June also in South Africa. "Unfortunately this will be a quick trip to South Africa because we have another World Series Marathon the week after, our team also has some major races in Europe so I will be making the trip to South Africa alone" Platt commented.

Current series leader Nico Bell (Team RE:CM) also confirmed he will be on the start line at MTN Clarens with team mates Lourens Luus and Erik Kleinhans. Other favourites include Gert Heyns, Matthys Beukes, Charles Keey, Henry Uys, Renay Goustra, Andrew Hill and Arno du Toit.

The elite women's race will see Robyn de Groot defend her series lead in the absence of Ariane Kleinhans who is attending a wedding in Switzerland. Some of the other top women who will be lining up include Vanessa Bell, Jennie Stenerhag, Sam Sanders, Yolande Speedy, Lise Olivier, Yolandi du Toit and Carla van Huyssteen.