Dirk Pauling and Thomas Oberli of Swiss charity 'Bike2Help' will be riding the ABSA Cape Epic 2016 in support of The Cape Leopard Trust. Thomas and Dirk, both accomplished triathletes and have participated in 3 Iron Man World Championships and through participation in the Epic supported Big Tree activities in 2009, 2010 and 2013. It is an impressive record, but they still have to work hard to prepare for what is said to be the toughest mountain bike race in the world, traversing a course of over 800km in distance and more than 15,000m of accumulated climbing.
The ABSA Cape Epic is the most televised mountain bike stage race in the world and the only eight-day mountain bike stage race classed as hors catégorie by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). This official UCI status makes it a highlight on the professional racer's calendar. The Absa Cape Epic also attracts aspiring amateur riders wanting to test themselves against the best. It is a full-service race, meaning that everything is taken care of from the start - and all riders need to think about is riding. Which is just as well, because conditions in Europe are very different to the heat of Africa. Dirk and Thomas are currently training in the extreme cold, and doing their best to dodge the winter flu. We wish them luck and look forward to meeting them in person as they take up a new challenge. Their Epic race will support Operation Smile and bike charity Qhubeka as well as the Trust.