As the countdown begins in anticipation of this year’s premier mountain bike challenge, we would like to take this opportunity to send special good luck wishes to the two teams cycling on behalf of The Cape Leopard Trust. Local South Africans, Rory Mapstone and Wayne McDuling, as well as Switzerland’s Thomas Oberli and Dirk Pauling, are putting their physical and mental endurance and ultimately muscle to the test in support of our work.
The much anticipated 2016 ABSA Cape Epic event covers a distance of 652km. Though slightly shorter than in previous years, the race includes more collective climbing for each of the kilometres than ever before, and riders will gain 15100m of vertical gain during the prologue and seven stages.
The world’s premier mountain bike stage race returns to Meerendal Wine Estate on March 13 for the 26km Prologue. Riders will then transfer to Tulbagh and lots of exhilarating new single track on Stages 1 and 2. Stage 3 runs south from Tulbagh to Wellington and the next day’s Stage 4 will be spent on the legendary trails of Welvanpas. Stage 5 includes five rugged climbs between Wellington and the new race village at Boschendal Wine Estate in Stellenbosch. Stage 6 will introduce riders to the mountain biking delights of the Stellenbosch region before Stage 7 takes them to the Grand Finale again at Meerendal Wine Estate in Durbanville. Having cris-crossed rugged and spectacular landscapes the enigmatic Cape leopard calls home, riders will earn the well-deserved status of Absa Cape Epic Finisher. To learn more about this world class event, and the line up of exciting side events taking place at the Grand Finale, see www.cape-epic.com.