Unforgiving. Unforgettable. Untamed: with 800 kilometres of unspoilt nature trails winding through the Western Cape and 15,000 metres of climbing over some of the most treacherous passes and kloofs in South Africa, the Absa Cape Epic holds the reputation of being one of the planet’s most harrowing and demanding mountain bike races ever! Tens of thousands of amateur and professional riders, maniacs and enthusiasts from 82 countries flew in and set out to master this eight-day trial, from – 17 to 24 March – of endurance, strength and sheer willpower.
Every year, the route of the Cape Epic changes, hence making the race an extremely challenging and versatile annual event. This year, 1,200 contestants were taken from Meerendal Wine Estate in Durbanville via Citrusdal, Saronsberg in Tulbagh, Wellington and finally to Lourensford Wine Estate in Stellenbosch for the big showdown.
For many riders, 2013 has not only been a chance to seek personal bests and set new records. It has been about far more than individual challenges. With the death of South African MTB legend Burry Stander (winner of the 2011 & 2012 Cape Epic), killed in a car accident in early January during a practice run, emotions were flying high as the riders sank their tyres into the dirt and their teeth into the race.
To all contestants, participants and finishers of this year’s Cape Epic MTB mountain bike race: Congratulations!! And make sure to polish your shoes and ready your bikes for next year’s event – who knows what the Cape of Storms will have in store for all you dirt-lovers and trail-maniacs in 2014!