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Covid-19

This page is a summary of the many changes at the Absa Cape Epic since COVID-19.

Last updated March 11, 2022

The relevant government authorities have given approval of our Covid-19 plans submitted including:

  • Riders and Crew will not need to provide proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test result in order to participate in the 2022 Absa Cape Epic.
  • Routine mid-week testing will not be required. 
  • Daily Symptom Checking will not be required.

For those travelling to South Africa for the event, please take note of the entry restrictions and requirements at the time of your arrival to South Africa in regards to Covid-19 regulations. The following links may be helpful for those travelling to South Africa:

Here is an overview on how this will impact you:

  • We will continue with the standard Covid-19 protocols in place from October 2021 e.g. mandatory mask wearing, enhanced hygiene, physical distancing, signage.
  • Specific Covid-19 protocols are in place in the case of a symptomatic positive Covid-19 test result.
  • In the event of a symptomatic person, onsite antigen testing can be conducted.

If you test positive for Covid-19 during the event

If you are experiencing symptoms, you must report to the Covid Testing Area, next to the Race Hospital in the Race Village for the medical team to assess you and determine if further testing is required. 

Should your test result come back positive at any stage, we will assist you with making arrangements for you to isolate off-site, including transporting yourself and your luggage to your isolation address. If you require a Covid-19 isolation hotel, this will be for your own account. We recommend that you have travel insurance that covers you for such eventualities.

Testing for post event International travel

Anyone requiring a negative Covid-19 (PCR or antigen) test result in order to travel home in the days following the event, may visit our onsite Covid Testing Area, next to the Race Hospital in the Race Village. The cost of an antigen test if R150 and a PCR test is R500. The cost for post event travel testing will be or the person's own account. 

Opening hours for onward travel testing needs will be in the Stellenbosch Race Village on Saturday, 26 March from 07h00 to 20h00 and Val de Vie on Sunday, 27 March from 09h00 to 15h00. Please note, the turn0around time for PCR test results may take between 24 and 48 hours.  

 

In addition to the 5 key principles of our Return to the Trails Policy in all areas of the event, we will continue working with the relevant authorities to ensure compliance with government regulations. We ask that all riders adhere to the safety protocols in place at the time of the event. 

Travel Considerations

Prior to your departure, we suggest that you check on the following:

  • Make sure that your Travel Insurance includes ALL of the necessary cover to include all risks for your luggage, bike, flight cancellations etc. Red the fine print of your travel policy (i.e. are extreme sports included, etc.) and double check any excess costs that may apply.
  • Ensure that your Medical Aid/Health Insurance is adequate and will cover you for extreme sports as well as Covid-19.
  • For both your Travel Insurance and Medical Aid/Health Insurance, double check on any applicable policy exclusions and/or conditions in your policy that may void cover whilst taking part in the Absa Cape Epic in South Africa.

Last updated August 13, 2021

 

We remain committed to doing everything we can to ensure the 2021 Absa Cape Epic takes place safely from 17-24 October and that we offer you the very best MTB experience. We are on track to do just that and will be ready for you later this year! Understandably though, with a few necessary changes to what you would normally expect at an Absa Cape Epic. 

In addition to the implementation of the 5 key principles of our Return to Trails policy in all areas of the event, we will continue working with the relevant authorities to ensure compliance with government regulations. We ask that all riders adhere to the safety protocols in place at the time of the event and we will provide more clarity on any such regulations and/or safety protocols as the event draws nearer but, by way of example, these may include but not be limited to the need for: 

  • Proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR test upon registration.
  • Additional testing during the event.
     

Furthermore, in anticipation of expected regulations of the South African government at the time of the event, we are implementing the following additional changes to our race villages in accordance with Covid-19 Risk Mitigation Protocols. These protocols include but are not limited to:

  • Strict capacity management in race villages to ensure participant numbers remain within regulations.
  • Strict screening and access control measures.
  • Scheduled Registration times.
  • Reduced sponsor activations.
  • Limited support village footprint with Covid-19 protocols applied.
  • NO spectators or supporters in official race areas.

Any team who no longer wants to participate in this year’s race, can defer their entry to 2022/2023 by 10 August 2021.

Travel Considerations

Prior to your departure, we suggest that you check on the following:

  • Make sure that your Travel Insurance includes ALL the necessary cover to include all risks for your luggage, bike, flight cancellations etc. Read the fine print of your travel policy (i.e. are extreme sports included, etc.) and double check any excess costs that may apply.
  • Ensure that your Medical Aid/Health Insurance is adequate and will cover you for extreme sports as well as Covid-19.
  • For both your Travel Insurance and Medical Aid/Health Insurance, double check on any applicable policy exclusions and/or conditions in your policy that may void your cover whilst taking part in the Absa Cape Epic in South Africa. 

Teams who no longer wish to take part in this year’s event due to Covid-19 travel restrictions or for personal reasons, can defer their team entry into the 2022 or 2023 Absa Cape Epic, no later than 10 August 2021 (T&C’s apply). 

We thank you for your continued patience as we navigate these uncertain times together and we assure you that the wait will be worth it when you’re lining up on the start ramp at UCT on 17th October 2021 ready to tackle the famed trails of the Western Cape; and by Sunday, 24th October you’ll be the riders who rewrote the Absa Cape Epic history books as the very first to conquer an Absa Cape Epic held in the spring.

We will communicate regular updates in the lead up to the race.

Last updated December 9, 2020

 

2021 Absa Cape Epic Postponed

After careful consideration and continued conversations with local authorities, we regret to announce that the 2021 Absa Cape Epic has been postponed to 17-24 October 2021. 

The decision to postpone the event has been made due to an upsurge of international and local Covid-19 cases, and the ever-changing restrictions relating to mass participation events in South Africa. As always, the safety of riders, staff, crew, and stakeholders remains paramount to every decision made by the organisation and we will continue to follow guidelines and recommendations in a manner consistent with local community objectives and within the expectations set by public health entities. 

We at the Absa Cape Epic appreciate that this may not be the news that our riders were hoping to receive as we approach the Festive Season break – a time where riders usually spend countless hours in preparation of what’s to come in The Race That Measures All – but we want to ensure you have the maximum notice and opportunity to plan for the rescheduled event date. 

Our team, sponsors, crew, and local communities have been working tirelessly to adapt to the challenges posed in these uncertain times, but it has become clear that in order to deliver an event to the standard the Absa Cape Epic is renowned for, it is best to postpone to 17-24 October 2021.  

“I would like to thank all of our riders as well as our sponsors and stakeholders for their understanding and unwavering support in what has been an extremely demanding year,” explained Michael Flinn, Managing Director of the Absa Cape Epic. 

All registered riders for the 2021 Absa Cape Epic have been sent an email explaining the options available to them. 

Like our riders, we are disappointed but look forward to welcoming them back for an exceptional race experience in October 2021.

Last updated November 10, 2020



Return to the Trails
 

After a very successful Swiss Epic in August 2020, we will embrace a similar “Return to the Trails” policy. We are living in a very dynamic and fast changing environment, but you can expect adaptions using the 5 key principles of:

1. Hygiene awareness

  • Hand sanitiser and hand washing stations will be readily available around our race villages and venues. 
  • Regular cleaning of common venue areas. 
  • Staff and crew will use face masks and gloves while working. 
  • We ask everyone to wear a face mask around our race villages and venues when in close proximity (< 1.5m) to others. 

2. Screening and education 

  • Appropriate personal health, personal hygiene and safe support education and training will be provided for staff and crew in necessary functional areas. 
  • Riders, staff and crew will be required to fill out a health screening questionnaire and signed declaration, which will be required to attend the event. 

3. Density reduction 

  • Entries to the 2021 event are currently limited to 499 teams.  
  • Instituting measures to increase space for riders throughout the race villages and venues. 
  • Enable appropriate physical distancing (>1.5 m) whenever possible. 

4. Touchpoint minimisation  

  • Reducing or removing touch-points and points of interaction between riders, staff and crew without compromising event safety or security. 

5. Rider personal responsibility 

  • Riders are enabled to determine their individual level of personal responsibility to further minimise interaction and touch-points with staff, crew and fellow riders. 
  • Riders should review and embrace our rider commitment.

 

Whilst no one is able to predict what COVID-19 regulations will be in place in March 2021, we are continuing to work with local authorities, our suppliers and sponsors to ensure that we adhere to stipulated guidelines and regulations to ensure the safety of our riders and all stakeholders. For this reason, we are currently planning for a spectator-free event, both in our race villages and on route at previously designated spectator points.

Last updated May 11, 2020

Despite the measures taken by our team, based on the assurances and guidelines from health officials and authorities, the 2020 Absa Cape Epic was cancelled on Friday 13 March 2020. The races villages were fully erected and set to go for the race week, and over 1 300 riders were already in Cape Town. It was, therefore, bitterly disappointing when the advice was received from the Western Cape Government to cancel the event.

The past few months have been incredibly challenging for people and economies across the world, but uncertain times often present opportunities to extend a helping hand to those in need.

Over 5.5 tonnes of food that would have been eaten at the race were donated to the communities in Ceres, Tulbagh and Wellington. Read the full story here. on Sunday, 26 April ex Springbok Captain and Rugby World Cup winner, John Smit, led a virtual group ride on Zwift and raised R277 128 for communities in Ceres. Read the full story here. This opens the door for more virtual charity rides to take place, and ways for us all to connect within the cycling community.

Absa Cape Epic Office:

The full team are working from home and the office remains closed. The team are working at 80% capacity on reduced hours and are available from Mondays to Thursdays.

Please feel free to contact us should you have any questions or queries regarding the process and we’ll be happy to assist. 

Online Registration

Entries to the 2021 Absa Cape Epic opened on 19 May 2020 at 15:00 GMT+2 and featured a new entry process.

  • No lottery.
  • Early bird discount of 25% if paid before 15 June.
  • 2021 waiting list gives guaranteed entries to the 2022 race with financial incentives.
  • Should the 2021 event be cancelled due to COVID-19, or travel restrictions related to COVID-19 prevent riders from entering South Africa or departing their respective countries to attend the 2021 race, teams will receive a 100% credit for the 2021 entry fee paid, that will be off-set against the 2022 Absa Cape Epic entry fee. See cancellation policy.
  • Entries into the 2021 event are limited to 499 teams. Available entries are expected to increase upon relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions.

 

2020 Registered Teams

In a bid to ensure that 2020 registered riders are able to get the experience that they had prepared so meticulously for, they have been offered first option to register for the 2021 Absa Cape Epic. See details here.
A large percentage of the 2020 registered riders have taken up the offer to race in 2021, leaving a total of 100 public entries up for grabs.

 

2021 Public Entries 
MASSIVELY DISCOUNTED WITH NEW ENTRY MECHANISM!

This year, entries will be available on a first come, first served basis as has been the case with early bird entries. There will not be a lottery for 2021.
The 100 entries to the 2021 Absa Cape Epic will be available here on 19 May 2020 at 15:00 GMT+2. Once you have secured your entry, it will be confirmed once payment is made.

If a team is registered and paid by 15 June 2020 (subject to availability) they can enjoy 25% off the 2021 Absa Cape Epic entry fee.

Special COVID-19 Roll-Over

Teams that have been registered into the 2020 Absa Cape Epic and use their 2020 team coupon to enter the race before 2023, will receive a 100% rollover of the team entry and all optional extras into the event the following year, should the event be cancelled for whatever reason.

This rollover entitlement is only valid for the original team coupon holder and is not transferrable to another rider. This rollover will also apply to 2020 riders if travel restrictions related to COVID-19 prevent riders from entering South Africa or from departing their respective countries to attend the race for which they have entered.
In order to qualify, riders must notify us no later than 1 December* in the year prior to the race for which they have registered.

Teams that entered the 2021 Absa Cape Epic after 18 May 2020 will receive a 100% credit for the 2021 entry fee paid (i.e. the credit note is to the value of the actual amount paid for the 2021 team entry), that will be off-set against the 2022 Absa Cape Epic entry fee, should the 2021 event be cancelled due to COVID-19, or should travel restrictions related to COVID-19 prevent riders from entering South Africa or from departing their respective countries to attend the 2021 race. Riders must notify us no later than 1 December 2020*.

*Additional note as of 9 December 2020: Due to the postponement of the 2021 Absa Cape Epic to 17-24 October 2021, riders must notify us no later than 1 July 2021 to make use of the above policy should travel restrictions related to Covid-19 prevent riders from entering South Africa or from departing their respective countries to attend the 2021 race in October.