MTB superstars Ariane Lüthi and Frans Claes, ready to conquer the Carpathians!


First big names on the board are already announcing that it will be an amazing MTB race in the Southern Carpathians during the second edition of Carpathian MTB Epic!

Our team is most delighted and proud to welcome Ariane Lüthi and Frans Claes, two sport superstars on the mountain bike world stage! The famous cyclists are Event Ambassadors for Carpathian MTB Epic 2018 and they represent, without any doubt, a hard and high-level competition for their rivals.

Born in Switzerland, Ariane Lüthi, 34 years old, is revered among her competitors for her fierce and fearless marathon racing ability. She is a multiple winner of the most grueling mountain bike stage races in the world, including the Absa Cape Epic, the Cape Pioneer Trek and the Swiss Epic!

With a sport background as a national level swimmer and swimming coach, Ariane poured herself into her new-found passion for bikes in 2009, when she attended her first MTB race at Roc d’ Azur. Shortly she made a notable appearence and in 2011 she decided to move to South Africa and compete as a professional MTB’er. Now, Ariane is holding many impressive titles: 5 times Absa Cape Epic category winner – Mixed in 2012 and 2013 and 3 times Women Elite winner during 2014-2016; 2 times Swiss XCM champion in 2013 and 2016; recently she gained a bronze medal at European XCM Championships 2018.

„I like to collect memories, not things! The personal motive to enter this race was the opportunity to explore a country I have never been to. I can not wait for this adventure… discovering the magical Carpathian Mountains, which look absolutely stunning on the pictures I’ve seen, in real life! I just hope Dracula won’t come visit me at night…“, stated Ariane Lüthi, with a large smile.

Overall winner UCI World Series Marathon 2017! An incredible performance and a highly desired title that are owned by the Belgian cyclist Frans Claes. From his teenage years, Frans is a truly addicted MTB-er being determined to take his bike all over the globe and participate in all kinds of bike events. And he fully succeeded! The 34 years old cyclist holds the number 1 place in World Series Marathon Ranking, being also a National XCM champion in his home country Belgium.

„Winning stage races like Trans-Wales (2008), Trans-Portugal (2009) and the Trans-Maurienne (2012) gave me the motivation and the confidence to put more energy into my sport. I really look forward to compete in the Carpathian MTB Epic and explore the beauty of the region! When people told me about the route and the race I got curious about what it could be like to ride in the Romanian mountains. Then, I watched the trailer of the race and was immediately convinced to add this Epic ride to my calendar!”, said Frans Claes.

What drives him, you might be wondering? „Nature keeps me going!”, added Frans.

Welcome, Ariane and Frans, and the best of luck in the races ahead!

The full-service event Carpathian MTB Epic, an UCI S2 stage race, will be held during August, 16-19, 2018, at Cheile Gradistei – Fundata, an Olympic-level resort, and it is open both to professional and amateur riders. The competition will offer to all participants a challenging race, high standard services and impecable organization, as well as a jolly and friendly atmosphere during the all 4 days.

Registrations are open online on the official page:

And… fear not, dear MTB enthusiasts, Dracula will only be appearing as a welcoming and charming host!

Photo credit: Craig Kolesky, Lynn Sigel