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Cape Epic returns to Hermanus
The Absa Cape Epic will return to Hermanus in 2019

The return of the Absa Cape Epic to Hermanus next year could add up to R75 million to local coffers.

This, according to Frieda Lloyd, manager of Whale Coast Tourism, who says the event brings about R300 million into the Western Cape economy.

After a long absence, the Cape Epic returned to Hermanus in 2017 and received great reviews from participants.

The 2019 Cape Epic will be the 16th race and mountain bikers from all over the world are expected to take part.

Paul du Toit, owner of Wine Village in Hermanus, has been part of the Absa Cape Epic since its inception and for 12 years he has been the Race Office Manager.

Du Toit says he is excited for the Absa Cape Epic to return to Hermanus next year and adds that it offers international media exposure for the Overstrand.

“We forsee an estimated 7 000 people attending next year’s race,” he said, including 1 264 participants and500 support staff and volunteers.

The race consist of a Prologue and seven stages. The first stage, aptly called “Heaven and Back to Earth”, takes place in Hermanus and surrounds on 18 March.

The start and finish line for the first stage will once again be at Hermanus High School. The route is 112 km in total, with a climb of 2 700 m.

“The stage one route has been described as the most difficult yet most beautiful route in the whole race,” says Du Toit. “One has to be mentally and physically fit as well.”

Lloyd says this region will be happy to welcome the mountain bikers.

For those interested in watching the race, the first spectator point is at Creation Wines in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley.

Lloyd says this spectator point won the prize for the best viewing experience in 2017. “Then it is onwards and upwards along the slopes of Babylonstoring, descending into the Tesselaarsdal,” she said. Stage two, named “Enter Sandman”, starts with an ascent of Rotary Drive before leaving Hemel-en-Aarde to the west into the sandman’s playground.

According to Lloyd, locals are involved at different levels of the planning and execution of the race. “This includes route planning, route development and the provision of services,” she said. “The participation stretches wide.

“We look forward to hosting another successful Absa Cape Epic and, as in the past, foresee this event as benefiting all communities and uniting us in appreciating world-class adventure sports.”

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