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2025 Early bird entries SOLD OUT

By Cape Epic 03/25/2024, 4:45am HST

The highly anticipated early bird entries for the 2025 Absa Cape Epic sold out as soon as they became available. Since its inception in 2004, the Absa Cape Epic has consistently sold out, and this Monday was no exception. Many eager participants were poised and counting the seconds until registration opened at 3 pm.

A fitting and fine Grand Finale

By Absa Cape Epic 03/24/2024, 5:15am HST

Coetzenberg Stadium in Stellenbosch played host to a fitting final stage of the 20th Absa Cape Epic. The stage over 67km with 2000m of climbing saw dynamic, aggressive racing in all the categories and featured the coldest conditions of the week. The contrast to the heat of the week was fitting and indicative of what it takes to complete this race. Every rider who crossed the line at the Grand Finale after 603km and nearly 16 050m of climbing has a very special place in The Book of Legend.

After a week of tactical racing, the undisputed powerhouses of 2024 however, was the team of Matthew Beers and Howard Grotts (Toyota-Specialized-NinetyOne) winning two stages to lay claim to the Yellow Leader Jerseys and adding to the Specialized legacy and trophy cabinet.

Simon Schneller and Urs Huber (BULLS Mavericks) won Stage 7 - the Grand Finale - of the Absa Cape Epic men’s race, but it was Matt Beers and Howard Grotts of Toyota-Specialized-NinetyOne who claimed the overall title at the 2024 event. 

In the Aramex Women’s Category, Anne Terpstra and Nicole Koller (GHOST Factory Racing) won an eighth stage in a row on their way to the 2024 Absa Cape Epic title. By winning every stage of the 2024 race (the Prologue and seven stages), the Dutch-Swiss combo matched the performance of Laura Stigger and Sina Frei, who also won eight stages on their way to the 2021 title. 

With some tired bodies and minds amongst the elite riders - leader Matt Beers admitting to lack of sleep and stomach issues on the finish line - the early pace on the 67km, Stellenbosch Stage 7 loop was sedate by the past week’s standards.

Cool Temperatures, Hot Racing

By Absa Cape Epic 03/23/2024, 4:15am HST

A damp, cool morning in Stellenbosch provided a welcome respite from a week of blistering temperatures for riders on the penultimate stage of the Absa Cape Epic. Stage 6 was a testing challenge over 87km with 2400 metres of climbing featuring some of the spectacular singletrack trail network in the Stellenbosch Winelands. The route saw riders pass twice through Muratie Wine Estate in the Knorhoek Valley on the slopes of Simonsberg Mountain. From there it took in some of Dirtopia’s best riding, before heading for Stellenbosch along Morgenhof’s new singletracks. The Idas Valley trails provided a last treat before the final test up the steep Botmaskop climb before they came home to the spectacular race village in the natural amphitheatre that is Coetzenberg. 

Toyota-Specialized-NinetyOne and GHOST Factory racing once again dominated their categories, winning the stage and extending their leads in the overall general classification at the same time, while there were loads of punctures and mechanicals behind them. The attrition continued further back in the field proving just why this race is not over until you roll over the line at the Grand Finale.

Penultimate Stage Proves Pivotal At 2024 Absa Cape Epic

By Absa Cape Epic 03/23/2024, 3:30am HST

It appears that only major disasters can prevent Toyota-Specialized-NinetyOne (Matt Beers and Howard Grotts) and GHOST Factory Racing (Anne Terpstra and Nicole Koller) from winning the Men’s and Aramex Women’s Category respectively at the 2024 Absa Cape Epic.

On the 87km Stage 6 in Stellenbosch, the event’s penultimate day of racing, Toyota-Specialized-NinetyOne and GHOST Factory racing once again dominated their categories, winning the stage and extending their leads in the overall general classification at the same time.

Beers and Grotts go into Sunday’s Stage 7, known as the Grand Finale, nine minutes clear of second-placed World Bicycle Relief (Nino Schurter and Sebastian Fini) in the general classification, while in the Aramex Women’s Category, Terpstra and Koller hold a lead of just under four minutes over Cannondale Factory Racing (Candice Lill and Mona Mitterwallner) with the final day of racing to come.

When the field rolled off the start line at the Prologue in Lourensford on Sunday 17 March, there were 11 Epic Legends ‘in waiting’ who took to the trails in a bid to add yet another Epic Series finish to their palmarès and add their names to the Legends Hall of Fame. One of those almost legends was Swiss masters rider Sergey Yakubanets.

Between Yakubanets and his unique Epic Legend medal, lay some 603 Untamed kilometres and some 16050 metres of climbing. Epic Legend status is reserved for riders who have completed three Epic Series Legend events, including an Absa Cape Epic. Yakubanets had completed five Spar Swiss Epics and the Andorra Epic before coming to the Southern tip of Africa to ride the pinnacle of the Epic Series, the Absa Cape Epic.

Six For Six In Aramex Women's Category

By Absa Cape Epic 03/22/2024, 2:45am HST

After the brutal heat of the Queen Stage, a (ever-so-slightly) cooler Wellington greeted riders for what many had pegged as the ‘most fun’ stage of this year’s 602km route.

“We love these trails!” Said Nicole Koller, who with GHOST Factory Racing teammate Anne Terspstra continued their unbeaten streak, making it six wins from six (the Prologue and five stages). “We’ve trained here in the past and knew them a little bit. It was just so cool to ride — so flowy and totally like cross-country style riding — great fun!” She said.

Riders throughout the field echoed the Aramex Women’s Leaders Jersey wearer’s sentiments.

Matt Beers and Howard Grotts (Toyota-Specialized-NinetyOne) romped to their first stage win of the 2024 Absa Cape Epic when they pulled away from Andreas Seewald and Marc Stutzmann (Canyon SIDI) in the closing kilometres of the 70km Stage 5 in Wellington. 

The Aramex Women’s Category was business as usual with Anne Terpstra and Nicole Koller (GHOST Factory Racing) cruising home on Stage 5 to claim their sixth successive stage win (five stages plus the Prologue last Sunday).

With two stages to go, they’ll have their eyes on the 2021 performance of Sina Frei and Laura Stigger, who won all eight days of the Absa Cape Epic on their way to overall victory.

Aramex, the new Official Logistics Partner and the UCI Women’s Category partner are having a storming debut Absa Cape Epic. Aramex came on board only two months before the start of the 2024 Absa Cape Epic but, unlike a rider who could not dream of finishing the Untamed African MTB Race with just two months of prep, the global leaders in comprehensive logistics and transport solutions were ready, and it shows.

“This event allows us to showcase our full capabilities as a full supply chain service provider,” says Noel Ross-Gillespie, E-commerce & Innovation Executive, Aramex South Africa, explaining how, from a logistics standpoint, they handled equipment storage, delivery to various sites, as well as site transportation from point A to point B.

The Queen Stage of the 2024 Absa Cape Epic was shortened due to extreme temperatures but that did nothing to detract from what is undoubtedly the most iconic stage of this year’s race.   

With temperatures soaring in the Boland all week long, race organisers enacted the official Extreme Weather Protocols on Wednesday evening after Stage 3, reducing the initial 88km Stage 4 to 73km. The alteration to the route led to a reduction of approximately 400m of climbing. Despite this, the Queen Stage still presented a challenging course with four arduous climbs and the tricky, yet spectacularly beautiful Cliffhanger switchback descent near the end, which was also the day’s Toyota Tough Section to the finish line.

Although the changes provided some very welcome relief, the stage remained an intense test of physical and mental endurance. So much so that UCI Marathon World Champ, Mona Mitterwallner of Cannondale Factory Racing, called it ‘one of the hardest stages’ of her life.  Mitterwallner, with South African partner Candice Lill, finished third on the day but remain in second on the GC, only two-and-a-half minutes behind the overall leaders. Lill and Mitterwallner finished in a time of 4:08:52, most other riders spent a lot more time out there.

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