Did you know?
More than 600 two-person teams take part in the Absa Cape Epic mountain-bike marathon.
To the outsider, the Absa Cape Epic cycling race looks like the never-ending race, performed by a lot of crazy people. To the insider, however, this South African cycling endurance marathon represents one of the biggest two-wheel challenges in a cyclist's sporting life: it is the world’s largest full-service, televised mountain-bike stage race, and has been taking place since 2004.
The route was designed to tax the system, to burn the athletes' bodies and to challenge their resolve. Cruel climbs, river crossings, fast sprints, rocky tracks, coastal meanders followed by more climbing, climbing, climbing – that's the essence of this cycling marathon.
This is why athletes from more than 40 countries enter this astounding mountain-bike race every year, some of them travelling up to 35 hours' long-haul to reach Cape Town, rest up for a while and join what is known as 'The Untamed African Mountain-Bike Race'.
Participants enter as two-rider teams and are required to stay together for the duration of the race.
The event generally ends at the Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West. In recent years spectators have been able to enjoy excellent summer weather in beautiful surroundings, with a variety of entertainment thrown in for good measure.
The organisers provide 24-hour full-service facilities during the race, including nutrition, water and isotonic refreshments, tented race villages for overnight accommodation, carbo-loaded breakfasts and dinners, bike servicing, and masseurs.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Absa Cape Epic
Tel: +27 (0)21 426 4373
How to get here
Fly or drive to Cape Town. A different route is chosen every year, so contact the organisers well in advance to find out where you start from.
Best time to visit
The Absa Cape Epic happens at the end of March and beginning of April annually.
Length of stay
The Absa Cape Epic takes eight days, but build in a few days before and after. You may have passed a town or a place you'd like to visit at leisure.
What to pack
The Absa Cape Epic is the largest full-service mountain-bike stage race in the world, so food and accommodation is sorted in advance. Bring your bike and kit.
Where to stay
An entire tented village is erected every night, but if you opt for the premium upgrade, you'll stay in a hotel or guest house and, best of all, you'll have your own masseuse.