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Sport
Come experience the Cape Epic

It’s race week! Hopefully the last of your pre-race planning is done and you are ready to take on the Untamed African Mountain Bike race.

The first riders head off onto the iconic slopes of Table Mountain from 06:40. The UCI Women begin their racing from 10:40, while the UCI Men begin theirs from 11:45.

Stage 1 and 2 will see the riders start at Hermanus High School, stage 4 and 5: Oak Valley Estate, stage 6 and 7: Stellenbosch University.

For the Grand Finale, from Stellenbosch to Jonkershoek, the asphalt road surface provides a deceptive lull, but do not be fooled – for once in the reserve, the typical Absa Cape Epic terrain resumes with vengeance. A dual track climb thins the field for Bosluis. Then it is across the valley to climb Never Ending Story.

The best of Jonkers is showcased by Bennet’s Red and the Land Rover Technical Terrain: Armageddon. From the valley floor the only way is up, on Fiona’s Beast, beyond a fairy tale castle to Botmaskop and through the culvert to the slopes of the Simonsberg. Vuurberg’s dirt jumps, which the route weaves between, lead to Boschendal’s Inferno and Sugar Bowl trails.

One final climb and a brand new section of single track ensures riders enter Val de Vie Estate, the Champs Elysées of the Absa Cape Epic, with a smile, but in need of those last few – mercifully flat – kilometres to gain their composure. Emotions are sure to spill over still; rolling across the finish line – as a 2019 Absa Cape Epic finisher.

The creation of the Absa Cape Epic was a major step not just in the life of founder Kevin Vermaak, but in the sport of mountain biking in general. In 16 years many things have changed, as Vermaak reflects ahead of his second Absa Cape Epic.

This year one can follow the Absa Cape Epic more closely from the Untamed African Mountain Bike Race live from the trails or via the growing range of digital mediums. You won’t miss a beat from the moment the first riders’ roll of the start ramp at UCT on 17 March until the last riders cross the finish line at Val de Vie on the 24th.

Visit www.cape-epic.com for all the information and to watch a four-hour live broadcast every day from 09:00. Also, join us at the Grand Finale as riders cross the final finish line.

For the Fans

There’s plenty of safe parking and a whole day of great activities. Be sure to grab a prime spot on the finish line and watch your mountain biking heroes celebrate their triumph.

Family activities include the Virgin Active Club-V Kids Zone, where there will be Swing Ball, Soccer and a Mini Obstacle Course, among other activities! The kids can spend some of their energy at the track for future riders.

Relax and enjoy refreshments in the Edge Chill Zone at the finish line, where band The Professors will play from 12:00. Grab a bite at a food truck in the race village, and get your favourite memento of the race at the Epic logo store. From the Absa Epic lounge feel like a winner yourself.

For visiting tourists and locals, various other activities outside the race village abound. Visit the hospitable taprooms of Paarl’s craft brewers, taste the delicious beers brewing at Berg River Brewery, Soul Barrel Brewing, Karoo Craft Breweries and the KWV Emporium. Eat out in the Cape Winelands, more particularly amid the natural beauty of Paarl, savouring the best of local and international cuisine, paired with a glass of fine wine. Whether it’s fusion, contemporary, local fare, sushi, pizza & pasta, or good ol’ steak and chips you favour, you’ll find the “place to suit your taste” in Paarl. A few places to visit are Back’s Restaurant, Hussar Grill, Noop Restaurant for fine dining or Moksh for a taste of indian flair.

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