ABSA Cape Epic: witness the best of MTB

ABSA Cape Epic: witness the best of MTB


Out of concern for the health and safety of our riders and other stakeholders, following recent advice received from the Western Cape Government, we have no choice but to cancel the 2020 Absa Cape Epic due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.


Mediclinic, the event’s medical partner since inception and which provides services to many Western Cape events, supports the decision. The decision also has the full support of most of our sponsors, including our headline sponsor, Absa.


The event was due to start on Sunday, March 15 on Table Mountain and end on March 22 in Paarl after traveling to Ceres, Tulbagh and Wellington.


Race founder Kevin Vermaak said: ‘I have taken this step with a heavy heart, but the health and safety of everybody involved in the event have to be paramount. ‘At 6pm today we received the formal advice from the government.’


Kevin appealed for patience from all stakeholders, who will be contacted directly regarding the way forward.


It’s that time of the year again – the ABSA Cape Epic will see riders battling it out from 15 – 22 March 2020. It’s a very exclusive race, with only 650 teams participating. The Cape Epic is also the most televised MTB race in the world, with official UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) status, making it an important race for both professionals and amateurs alike.


In it’s 17th year, this 7 stage race happens over 8 days, 647 kms and an ascent of 15 550 m, and is considered one of the toughest, most technical top mountain bike races in the world. To attest to its difficulty, the race is tagged with the slogan “The Race That Measures All”, with riders of 18 different nationalities competing. The route is a mixture of rugged mountain passes, rocky single tracks, sandy farm roads and crazy descents. 


The entry fee is also worth noting: R88,900 for locals, and US$6290 (roughly R100,214) for international entries. This race is quite a financial injection into the South African economy, with food, accommodation, cycle shops and the like benefiting greatly from this spectacular race. Some riders have been here since January, to give them time to acclimatise and train on sections of the route. 


It’s a high caliber cyclist tackling this race, with famous names such as Swiss riders Nino Schurter and Lars Forster, of the SCOTT-SRAM team. Also be on the lookout for the South Africans Nicol Carstens and Marco Joubert from the IMBUKO GIANT team, and Kenton Girty (USA) with Lukas Roubicek (Czech Republic) for team ZEPHYR. Anna Basson’s Mari Carstens had the privilege to meet some of the top-class riders at the Scott Sports Africa & Mercedes Benz VIP event! 


Joggie Prinsloo (Scott Sport SA), Mari Carstens (Anna Basson Properties), Kent Girty (USA), Lukas Roubicek (Czech Republic)


Mari Carstens (Anna Basson Properties), Joggie Prinsloo (Scott Sport SA) & Yolande Prinsloo
Nino Schurter (Switzerland), Mari Carstens (Anna Basson Properties) & Lars Foster (Switzerland) for TEAM SCOTT-SRAM


The route differs every year, and for 2020, the route starts at the University of Cape Town, on Table Mountain, and ends at the beautiful Val de Vie Estate in Paarl. If you want to follow the race, head on over to these towns:


Prologue : UCT [60km]

Stage 1: Ceres – Ceres [98km]

Stage 2: Ceres – Saronsberg [94km]

Stage 3: Saronsberg – Saronsberg [88km]

Stage 4: Saronsberg – CPUT Wellington [101km]

Stage 5: CPUT Wellington – CPUT Wellington [85km]

Stage 6: CPUT Wellington – CPUT Wellington [95km]

Stage 7: CPUT Wellington – Val de Vie (Paarl) [66km]


The Prologue is an absolute crowd-pleaser, where spectators can come visit the race village to see the world’s greatest MTB riders, while enjoying good food, or a nice cold beverage at the Edge Chill Zone. Don’t forget to buy yourself some Cape Epic merchandise at the logo store. 


After you’ve cheered on the riders at the Prologue, plan your day at the Grand Finale as you watch the best of the best make it home after an arduous journey. To make it a special occasion, book yourself a spot at the ABSA Hospitality Lounge, for a comfortable and luxurious environment to witness the winners coming in. You’ll be able to meet some celebrity riders and listen to their take on the race.


ABSA will also be launching the #SheUntamed initiative, which aims to improve women’s access to MTB as a sport. Nicole Capper, good friend of Anna Basson Properties, will take part in this initiative. Cape Epic riders have also raised more than R700 000 for charity through GivenGain. 


Don’t miss this battle of the best – in one of the most beautiful regions in South Africa.

Visit www.cape-epic.com for more information. 


#livestellenbosch #leefstellenbosch #capeepic2020 #untamed #africa #mtb #mtbrace #scotssram #scott2luvit


[images courtesy of www.bikehub.co.za and Mari Carstens]
Written by C Knoesen


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *