There are ways of enjoying the Absa Cape Epic that don’t involve blood, sweat and tears (or that deadly cycling combination of mud, wet and gears). And you can even do so from the safety of your office … or the comfort of your couch.
Those in the Western Cape at the time who want to get to the event itself can find out about spectator opportunities in the Ride Guide, which can be downloaded here http://www.cape-epic.com/fans/highlights/2017-ride-guide if you don’t have a printed copy.
But you can keep in touch or engage with the race from the rest of the world via:
The Absa Cape Epic’s live event website
This has been upgraded it to make it easier to navigate and to offer more insights into the Untamed African MTB Race. These include a live ticker feed, which will be constantly updated with the latest news from the route – from information about the leaders to conditions on the day and all the drama. The site also includes videos and images, stage information, social media feeds and results. Get it all on www.cape-epic.com from 18 March.
Supersport live coverage and daily highlight packages
The Prologue on Sunday, March 19, will be live from 9.30am to 2pm (GMT+2) on Supersport and www.cape-epic.com for international fans. You will get to watch all the top riders on the course at Meerendal Wine Estate in Durbanville. The Grand Finale – the final stage on Sunday, March 26 – will be live from 9.30am to 1.30pm (GMT+2) (International live countries list can be found http://www.cape-epic.com/fans/watch-from-home/tv-coverage). It is probably the most sought after stage win in mountain biking and inevitably dishes up lots of thrills.
As usual there will be highlights packages shown on Supersport each evening. This year, however, they will be broadcast an hour earlier than in the past – starting at 9.30pm.
Daily Live Streaming
This year we will bring you more live race coverage than ever before and you can also find it on www.cape-epic.com. Stages 1, 2, 4 and 6 will be live streamed from 9am to 12.20pm and Stages 3 and 5 from 8am to 11.20am. During those times you will get to watch a summary of the previous day’s action, the race start and then live racing.
The stream will include commentary from Gerald de Kock in the race village, former professional rider Neil Gardiner’s updates from the race helicopter and radio personality Jeff Ayliffe’s updates from spectator points and the finish line. We will keep viewers in touch with the top men and women in the race via the helicopter, two e-bikes out on the course with cameras, and coverage from the water points and the finish line.
The finish line camera
After the live streaming the finish line camera will carry on running until the daily cut-off. It will afford riders an opportunity to send messages to their friends and family and our team of announcers will keep viewers up to date with developments and interviews through the day.
The Dimension Data tracking app
Riders can be tracked via the website, but functionality will be limited: your best way of keeping an eye on your favourite riders is to download the Dimension Data app. It will enable you to follow any team in the field and where they are on the route at any given time. Once you have downloaded the app, all you need to do is ‘favourite’ the teams you want to follow and you will get to see how they are doing compared to nearby teams, what gradients they are on at the time and their speeds. The app will also let you know what the weather conditions are like on the stage.
Search “Absa Cape Epic” on googleplay or in the iOS Appstore.
The Fantasy League
Fancy a free entry to the 2018 Absa Cape Epic courtesy of USN? Or daily prizes of USN products? Go the The Bike Hub website – https://www.bikehub.co.za – and show your mountain biking knowledge in the Fantasy League competition. All you have to do is predict the stage winners and overall champions in the five categories (Men’s, Women’s, Mixed, Masters, Grand Masters) and the two special jersey races (Absa African and Exxaro). Points will be scored each day based on the performance of your prediction, with the Elite Men’s and Women’s categories getting an extra weighting. Extra points will be awarded for the overall predictions.
The overall predictions will need to be done before the race starts on March 19 but daily selections can be done until midnight before each stage.
The photo competition
You can also get to see the best pictures from our team of leading photographers in The Bike Hub’s competition and vote for your favourite. Every day each photographer will submit their favourite shot with a short note explaining its context. From 6am the next day the photographs will be on The Bike Hub and voting will take place over the next 12 hours. Each day’s winner will go through to the “finals” on Wednesday, March 29. You will then get an opportunity to vote for the overall winner, who will get a R10 000 prize. The result will be announced on Monday, April 3, and voters who chose the winning picture will go into a lucky draw for a signed and framed version of the photograph.