Landowner and Absa Cape Epic official water partner THIRSTI quenches the thirst for thrill in this year’s 8-day Absa Cape Epic with an added single track, first floating water bridge and unrivalled quality spring water.
Stage 3, day 4 of the 2021 Absa Cape Epic will be extraordinary. Traversing Tulbagh’s terrain, the 600 cyclists will remember THIRSTI’s Western Province production facility for many years to come. Shortly after entering the THIRSTI Natural Spring Water farm, riders will tackle a pump track positioned on a dam wall separating two dams, followed by a scenic floating water bridge.
The Absa Cape Epic is the most televised mountain bike race in the world and the only eight-day mountain bike stage race classed as hors catégorie by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). It is a highlight on the professional racer's calendar, but also attracts aspiring amateur riders wanting to test themselves against the best.
Not only is high quality water a crucial element of this gruelling event, but THIRSTI has taken its partnership with the Absa Cape Epic a step further. As a landowner, THIRSTI has contributed to the route by adding interesting elements to the track, all situated around water, of course.
Head of Marketing, Michelle Lillico elaborates: “We have worked closely with the Absa Cape Epic team to reflect the THIRSTI brand on our part of the route – fast, fun and spectacular. We have built an extraordinary section of single track called Crocodile Spine as it resembles the spine of a crocodile. It’s fast and flowing with the sole purpose of putting a smile on riders’ faces. Before completing their extraordinary kilometre, riders will experience another first - a 100m floating water bridge. This will provide a short mental reset before attacking one of the most demanding climbs of this year’s Absa Cape Epic: Fanties Pass.”
Sarah Harrop, Senior Marketing Manager, Epic Series comments that THIRSTI’s additions provide exciting and enjoyable features that will make a big impact on the stage. Having iconic sections per stage helps riders mentally prepare for what’s to come as it allows them to break the stage down into achievable chunks.
“By the time riders start Stage 3 of the 2021 Absa Cape Epic, they will have already raced 212 kilometres and climbed 4450m including the Queen Stage which is considered the most demanding stage of the race. Every rock garden, bridge, drop-off or trail at the Absa Cape Epic compounds on what has preceded it. Looking at features in isolation may make them seem less demanding but when you factor in the fatigue of the opening stages, including a bone-rattling ride through the Witzenberg on Stage 2 and an early encounter with Tulbagh’s demanding trails prior to arriving at the THIRSTI features, they start to become more of a challenge.”
More about THIRSTI:
THIRSTI’s first and primary bottling plant was founded in 2015 at a Normandien farm in the foothills of the Klein Drakensberg mountains. In 2021, THIRSTI expanded operations into the mountain basin of Tulbagh, which is surrounded on three sides by the Groot Winterhoek, Witzenberg and Obiqua mountains and drained by the Klein Berg River and its tributaries. Each source has its own state-of-the-art bottling plant where the water is filtered, tested and bottled, ready to be enjoyed by consumers. The THIRSTI product range includes Natural Spring Water, Sparkling Water, Sparkling Flavoured Water and a sports drink, THIRSTI ISOFIT+. The South African brand proudly partners with the Springboks, Absa Cape Epic, Comrades Marathon, Blue Bulls Company, Sharks Rugby, THIRSTI AfricanX Trail Running series.