Today the 11th ABSA Cape Epic gets off the ground, the world’s ‘premier mountain biking challenge’, according to the Weekend Argus. A total of 1200 riders will participate in the tough 718 km race, described on its Twitter Bio as ‘The Untamed African Mountain Bike Race’, covering a unique route each year. It receives extensive local and international media coverage, attracting attention to the rugged beauty of the Winelands.
Cape Epic organiser Kevin Vermaak had the vision to create a cycle challenge from Knysna to Cape Town over eight days, beginning with 200 riders in 2004. Today the race starts at Meerendal wine estate in Durbanville, and the journey takes the riders through Arabella Wines in Robertson, The Oaks in Greyton, Oak Valley wine estate in Elgin, and finishes off on 30 March at Lourensford wine estate in Somerset West. A tent village is set up for the riders at the end of each day.
The race has a total prize value of R1,7 million, and the prize for the fastest woman rider has been increased to R690000. Famous participants today are Formula 1 world champion Alain Prost; former Springbok rugby captain John Smit and former Springboks Joel Stransky, Butch James, and Stefan Terblanche; canoeists Willem van der Riet, Andre Collins, and Graham Monteith; Jan Braai (Jan Scannell); and South Africa’s Top Eat Out Chef David Higgs of five hundred at The Saxon, who has been one of the most avid Tweeters about his training for the Cape Epic in the past few months, linking a charity drive to his participation.
We salute all riders participating the tough ABSA Cape Epic 2014, and wish them an epic ride, especially given the less than favourable weather forecast.
ABSA Cape Epic 2014: 23 – 30 March 2014. www.cape-epic.com Twitter: @ABSACapeEpic
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@WhaleCottage