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ABSA Cape Epic
March 18, 2018 - March 25, 2018
The 15th edition of the Absa Cape Epic will take place from 18 to 25 March 2018 and will be as challenging as ever. Local and international mountain bikers will tackle the demanding eight-day adventure through the Western Cape region in South Africa.
The Absa Cape Epic must be completed by both members of a two-person team with only 650 teams allowed to ride the race. The route changes every year, leading aspiring amateur and professional mountain bikers from around the world through roughly 700 untamed kilometres of unspoilt scenery and 15 000m of accumulated climbing.
The Absa Cape Epic is the most televised mountain bike race in the world and the only eight-day mountain bike stage race classed as hors catégorie by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). This official UCI status makes it a highlight on the professional racer’s calendar. The Absa Cape Epic also attracts aspiring amateur riders wanting to test themselves against the best. It is a full-service race, meaning that everything is taken care of from the start – all riders need to think about is riding.
Full Service MTB Stage Race
The Absa Cape Epic is the largest full-service mountain bike stage race in the world. From the day the race starts, 1300 riders need only look after their bodies and continue racing. Everything else is taken care of.
An early buffet breakfast is served each morning. Race nutrition, water and isotonic carbohydrate drinks are freely available at water points throughout the route. Trained medical staff are on course and a fully-equipped race hospital is in operation at the various Race Villages. At each stage finish line riders’ bikes are cleaned by the Bike Wash team while the Woolworths Recovery Zone restores energy levels with lunch and snacks.
From the first to the last stage rider bags are transported between the different Race Villages. Single-person tents with mattresses are provided, where exhausted riders can rest and enjoy a comfortable night’s sleep. Enclosed shower units offer riders a relaxing shower after a gruelling day in the saddle.
The Absa Rider Lounge is a space where the riders can relax in the shade and it includes luxuries such as: complimentary beverages, local and international newspapers, flat screen TVs, massages by Mangwanani Spa, ice baths, stretching areas, free consultations with the on-site chiropractor and laptop stations with free internet connectivity.
The Castle Lite Chill Zone is the perfect place to unwind, enjoy a cold beer, swap race stories and mingle with supporters and fellow riders after a hard day of racing.
At the end of each day the Evening Presentation provides riders with a sumptuous dinner buffet, local entertainment as well as video and photographic highlights from the stage. Laughs are provided by MC, Dan Nicholl.
The Route Changes Every Year
The Absa Cape Epic route changes every year. The dedicated route team takes two years to plan where in South Africa’s rugged Western Cape province riders will test themselves with a distance of around 700km and 15 000m climbing. What is guaranteed each year is a challenging traverse of the area’s iconic fynbos valleys, majestic mountains, deep ravines, indigenous forests, spectacular coastlines and flourishing vineyards.
The terrain is as varied as it is harsh – dusty and demanding gravel roads, strenuous rocky climbs, thrilling technical descents, refreshing river crossings and fast forest single tracks. The Absa Cape Epic route gives riders and fans the opportunity to experience the historic and scenic towns in the Western Cape – many of them off the beaten tourist track. More than 40 towns have been visited by the Absa Cape Epic since 2004.