In 12 years the Absa Cape Epic has evolved into the world’s premier mountain bike stage race, attracting top riders from all parts of the globe. Every year Olympic medallists duel with world champions over a Prologue on Cape Town’s Table Mountain, followed by seven stages through stunning Western Cape countryside.
But it is back in the field where the race’s legend is created: the Absa Cape Epic is unique in that ordinary mountain bike riders who have taken on the challenge of their lives rub shoulders with the very best that the sport has to offer.
In 2016 the Prologue will again take place on the slopes of Table Mountain before the riders head off to Tulbagh, Wellington and Stellenbosch. The Grand Finale (final stage) is the ride to the finish at Meerendal Wine Estate in Durbanville.
The explosion in mountain biking that followed the founding of the Cape Epic has also resulted in hundreds of trails being built and developed in the province, and the 647-kilometre route for 2016 includes the most gruelling singletrack in the history of the event. More than 110km of trails snake through some of the most rugged parts of the Western Cape. The pleasure that participants take in riding singletrack might, however, be tempered by the fact that the 2016 race will also have the most climbing per kilometre in the history of the event.
The Grand Finale attracts thousands of spectators and fans for a day of fun at Meerendal. Those of a more energetic bent can take part in the Liqui-Fruit Trail Runs or enter their youngsters in the Liqui-Fruit Kiddies MTB Ride while waiting for their heroes, spouses, family or friends to finish.