The 40-year-old has an impressive track record, with three world marathon titles and five Cape Epic wins under his belt, and is now gearing up for the country’s premier road tour, riding for Investec-Songo-Specialized.
There is, he said, much to appreciate about the Tour of Good Hope, which will take riders on a 490km journey through the Cape Winelands.
“I love to race in the beautiful Western Cape and there is the speed effect when you ride with a bunch on fast wheels,” he said of the event presented by Scicon and the City of Drakenstein and sanctioned by Cycling South Africa.
“Also, it is so well organised and I’m already looking forward to it.”
Sauser said the speed created by riding in a bunch at 40km/h was excellent preparation as he eyed a sixth Cape Epic title.
“It is very good to have this stimulation which you would never get in training.”
The 40-year-old said that although they were essentially a team of mountain bikers, they had riders who could climb and sprint as well.
He added they would not look too far ahead but “it would be nice to win a stage or two again as we did last year with Sam Gaze“.
The latter won last year’s queen stage – mountain-top finish on Du Toitskloof Pass – before going on to win the U23 world cross country title in the Czech Republic.
The 2000 Olympic cross-country bronze medallist, from Yvorne in Switzerland, announced his retirement from the sport last year.
However, he could not resist making a comeback when a request came from 2012 Olympic cross country champion Jaroslav Kulhavy to join him for this year’s Cape Epic.
“I needed some time to think, but the fire for the Cape Epic started to burn again,” he said, reflecting on Epic wins with Kulhavy in 2013 and 2015.
“The challenge, the goal to win a sixth title and also the chance to raise awareness and inspire the kids of my charity – songo.info – brought me back again.”
“After the Tankwa Trek in February I’m going back to Switzerland for two weeks and will return in March for the Tour of Good Hope and a number of other races.”