Absa Cape Epic Stage Race

Absa Cape Epic MTB Stage Race

15 MAR 2015: Prologue
15-22 MAR 2015: Stage Race
22 MAR 2015: Grand Finale
+27 (0) 21 4264373
Absa Cape Epic

Absa Cape Epic MTB Stage Race

Gear up to conquer some of South Africa’s most challenging trails as part of one of the world’s most arduous mountain biking races

Billed as the ‘Untamed African Mountain Bike Race’ the 2015 Absa Cape Epic is nothing short of what its name suggests: epic!

This incredible test of endurance sees some of the world’s elite professional and amateur riders traverse across nearly 800km of some of the most beautiful and unforgiving routes in the Western Cape. This year, the event will kick off from the University of Cape Town on Sunday, 15 and come to an end on Sunday, 22 March 2015 at the Meerendal Wine Estate in Durbanville.

Cape Epic bikers ride through a streem

Now, in its 12th year, the demanding competition holds fast to its Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) status as ‘Hors Categorie (beyond categorisation)’ – it was the first ever team mountain bike race to achieve this.


THE TECHNICAL STUFF: The eight-day escapade sees 600 teams of 2 in 5 different categories – men, women, mixed, masters (40 years or older) and grand masters (50 years or older) – traverse 739km(16 000m of which is climbing).

Cape Epic riders on a gravel road

NEW ROUTES: Committed to providing riders with a unique experience, the race organisers devise a new route each year, leading the 1 200 riders up strenuous rocky climbs, over dusty gravel paths and magnificent river crossings, along forested singletracks and down thrilling, technical downhills.

PIT STOPS AND SCENERY: This year the arduous competition takes mountain bikers through virgin territory across the Western Cape. Teams and riders kick off their week-long adventure with a time trial at the Absa Cape Epic Prologue at the University of Cape Town, and promptly head to Elgin for the first two stages of the race, with the third stage finishing off in Worcester. From there, duos will tackle tough terrain in Wellington before making their way to the end point in Durbanville.

Cape Epic riders in a forrest

AFTER EACH STAGE: Teams must stay together at all times (there are penalties if two members are more than two minutes apart at any race stage), and the cut-off time for the race varies from stage to stage. The winners of each leg of the race will be given prize money and prizes at the end of the day, and leaders in the overall classification are awarded leader jerseys.

Cape Epic riders riding together

THE FINISH LINE: As always, the Absa Cape Epic ends off with as much, if not more, of a bang as it started with. Spectators can welcome the weary riders at the final stage of the route at the finishing line at the Absa Cape Epic Grand Finale at the Meerendal Wine Estate in Durbanville.

Cape Epic riders at night

STAGE 9 AFTER PARTY: Since competing in the Absa Cape Epic is no walk in the park, the organisers host a fabulous after party at Grand Café & Beach in Granger Bay to celebrate this major accomplishment. The festivities start at 7pm on Sunday, 22 March 2015, the dress code is ‘Anything but Lycra’ casual and tickets cost R400p/p. Visit Cape-Epic.com for more information.

SPECTATOR INFORMATION: Whether you’re keen to see what the Absa Cape Epic is all about or simply want to cheer on your favourite rider, the spectator guide has all the rules, regulations and information you need to safely urge on the participants. While fans are encouraged to support the teams, spectators are urged to obey the marshals at all times and not to assist any of the riders taking part in the race (simply holding the bike while the rider pumps up a flat tyre can earn them a penalty).


Registration for the 2015 race will take place on Saturday, 14 March 2015 at The Lookout at the V&A Waterfront from 9am to 2pm.

Everyone MUST be registered by 2pm; NO late registrations will be allowed.

Riders need to register as a team, and each member of a pair must bring along a form of photo identification (ID or passport). Teams will receive their race packs with all the information they need regarding the race as well as their rider bags and participation shirts. Participants are also afforded the opportunity to drop off any bags or bike boxes, both of which will be securely stored for the week and available for collection at the finishing line at the Meerendal Wine Estate.

At 11am at the V&A Waterfront amphitheatre, riders can enjoy a full programme of entertainment in addition to the rider briefing session. What’s more, participants and family members can also enjoy some live entertainment, including multiple world champion trials rider Kenny Belaey showing off his gravity-defying bike skills.


The mountain bike race is limited to 1 200 participants each year, and due to its popularity, spaces fill up well before race day (space is now full for the 2015 competition). .

There are a number of ways to enter the Absa Cape Epic, and eager participants looking to enter the 2016 event will need to keep their fingers on the pulse as early-bird entries open at 3pm on Monday, 23 March 2015.

The full entry (R59,600 per team) must be paid immediately to secure a spot. For more information on how to register, go to Cape-epic.com.



On a first-come, first-served basis. Only 100 of these entries for the next year’s race are made available the day after the race finishes (opens at 3pm on Monday, 23 March 2015).


The bulk of the entries are allocated via a public lottery process (closes on Saturday, 30 May 2015).


Reserved for top Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) registered riders, previous podium winners, previous World Champions or Olympic medallists who are not competing for UCI points and mixed, masters and grand masters athletes who are competing for a category win.


Support a worthy cause and race the ABSA Cape Epic.


A limited amount of entries are available on request.


Absa Cape Epic volunteers receive a guaranteed entry to the following year's race.

Photo Credit: Images courtesy of Sam Clark, Greg Beadle, Karin Schermbrucker and Warren Elsrom.

Have a squiz at our guide to annual March events to find out about more hot happenings taking place during the month.

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