Mountain Bike Magazine SANI - Autumn 2018 - Page 56

PEOPLE | RIDERS WE LIKE LEGENDS! Meet Per Lofstrand and Mathew Goetsch, sani2c partners about to take on their 13th together… You two are living proof that when you find a good partner, you keep them! Are you friends and training mates socially, how did you meet and decide to ride sani together for the first time back in 2006? Mathew Goetsch: We used to be neighbours and trained every morning together. Per has always been the mechanic and I spent many days in his garage playing with bikes. After I completed my first sani in 2005 and told him about it, he was hooked and we’ve never looked back. Now we train together when we can, about two or three times a week. What makes Per such a legend that you’ve stuck with him since 2006 – or is he just too sleg to do it without you? MG: Per is a no-nonsense, laid-back guy. He’s determined to complete anything he sets his mind to, regardless of setbacks. His positive attitude is invaluable. Stage racing teammates can often end up enemies. What makes you guys gel? MG: We have no expectations of each other, other than to enjoy ourselves and make the most of all sani and the environment has to offer. We know how far to push each other and know when to back off. The only routine is dictated by an early morning rush to the bathroom. Per Lofstrand: We are both pretty easy going, not high maintenance. Mat does not get stressed out when I can’t keep up with his pace, and I don’t get stressed out when he doesn’t wait for me. Luckily he has a weak bladder and often has to take a leak, so I use those moments to catch up. We both enjoy MTB and we don’t let the stress of life and racing affect our relationship. I don’t take racing that seriously and I’d say Mat is the more serious racer, and more organised when it comes to preparing for sani. On race day we have responsibilities, Mat supplies me with High5, I never ride or do other races with energy drinks, but during sani, Mat fuels me up with energy supplements. I usually carry the tools to do running repairs, between the both of us we can sort out most mechanicals and make a plan with major repairs. One of my responsibilities is to hold onto Mat’s wheel, especially on the climbs (95kg does not climb too well). We know each other’s riding habits and abilities so well, so in the technical sections we stay close together and follow each other’s lines with confidence. Tell us a bit more about your personal lives. MG: I run my own Trellidor franchise in Durban. I have a very understanding wife (been married 15 years) who supports me in all my goals and endeavours. Who else would be able to look after our three kids aged 4, 6 and 8 while I’m away riding my bike? Per and I train together most days, but as of late I’ve taken up triathlon so I don’t get to ride with him as much as I’d like to. PL: I’ve been married for 25 years to Michelle, who is very supportive in whatever I do, as long as it is legal. She is sporty herself so relates to my passion. We have four children, two boys and two girls. I’m an engineer and live and work in Durban. Mat and I train together but for the last two years he has turned to the dark side (doing triathlons and specialising in ultras). Mat won’t tell you so I’ll brag about him. Last year he did IRONMAN African Champs and placed well, and this year he was first South African home in his age group and 7th overall in his age group. He’s the hammer and I’m the nail. We still train together on the road during the week and now and again on weekends we head out on our mountain bikes. How do you manage tenting together, especially on cold nights in the Underberg – or should that stay on tour? MG: Per takes up a lot of space, being the big Swede he is, so he keeps the tent warm for us. PL: Mat is easy as long as you can stand the noise and smell coming out of his exhaust pipe. He doesn’t snore, but if he did I’d probably sleep through it. Mat, you turned 42 in March, and Per, you’re going to be 51 in July. Do you think the age difference is a factor that has contributed to your teamwork, and has the dynamic changed over the years? MG: We’re both young at heart and truly don’t even see age as a factor. Although we’ve had to add a new tool to our kit as Per needs his specs to work his magic as a mechanic. PL: They say age is just a number, but it is definitely a factor in your performance. We’re not as fast as five years ago and there are many better riders now as the sport has grown exponentially. I think our advantages are that we know the course so well (no need for Garmin), we have experience and patience, and we get on so well together as a team. We know what sections to push, where to conserve and save energy, especially on Day 2. We have beaten many stronger and faster teams because of this. We have definitely matured as a team over the years and we don’t take the racing too seriously. Who’s captain? MG: Our wives usually, until we get onto the trails, then we both are. PL: Me with transport, accommodation and food at Underberg, and Mat with controlling the pace of riding because he is stronger. 56 | MTB | sani2c PEOPLE | RIDERS WE LIKE LEGENDS! Meet Per Lofstrand and Mathew Goetsch, sani2c partners about to take on their 13th together… You two are living proof that when you find a good partner, you keep them! Are you friends and training mates socially, how did you meet and decide to ride sani together for the first time back in 2006? Mathew Goetsch: We used to be neighbours and trained every morning together. Per has always been the mechanic and I spent many days in his garage playing with bikes. After I completed my first sani in 2005 and told him about it, he was hooked and we’ve never looked back. Now we train together when we can, about two or three times a week. What makes Per such a legend that you’ve stuck with him since 2006 – or is he just too sleg to do it without you? MG: Per is a no-nonsense, laid-back guy. He’s determined to complete anything he sets his mind to, regardless of setbacks. His positive attitude is invaluable. Stage racing teammates can often end up enemies. What makes you guys gel? MG: We have no expectations of each other, other than to enjoy ourselves and make the most of all sani and the environment has to offer. We know how far to push each other and know when to back off. The only routine is dictated by an early morning rush to the bathroom. Per Lofstrand: We are both pretty easy going, not high maintenance. Mat does not get stressed out when I can’t keep 56 | MTB | sani2c up with his pace, and I don’t get stressed out when he doesn’t wait for me. Luckily he has a weak bladder and often has to take a leak, so I use those moments to catch up. We both enjoy MTB and we don’t let the stress of life and racing affect our relationship. I don’t take racing that seriously and I’d say Mat is the more serious racer, and more organised when it comes to preparing for sani. On race day we have responsibilities, Mat supplies me with High5, I never ride or do other races with energy drinks, but during sani, Mat fuels me up with energy supplements. I usually carry the tools to do running repairs, between the both of us we can sort out most mechanicals and make a plan with major repairs. One of my responsibilities is to hold onto Mat’s wheel, especially on the climbs (95kg does not climb too well). We know each other’s riding habits and abilities so well, so in the technical sections we stay close together and follow each other’s lines with confidence. Tell us a bit more about your personal lives. MG: I run my own Trellidor franchise in Durban. I have a very understanding wife (been married 15 years) who supports me in all my goals and endeavours. Who else would be able to look after our three kids aged 4, 6 and 8 while I’m away riding my bike? Per and I train together most days, but as of late I’ve taken up triathlon so I don’t get to ride with him as much as I’d like to. PL: I’ve been married for 25 years to Michelle, who is very supportive in whatever I do, as long as it is legal. She is sporty herself so relates to my passion. We have four children, two boys and two girls. I’m an engineer and live and work in Durban. Mat and I train together but for the last two years he has turned to the dark side (doing triathlons and specialising in ultras). 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