2013 Absa Cape Epic a huge success – Early bird entries sell out in 34 seconds



The tenth edition of the Absa Cape Epic was again a huge success with 1 258 cyclists from 45 countries participating in this prestigious and challenging event.

1 082 riders crossed the finish line at Lourensford on Sunday, 24 March, as official Absa Cape Epic finishers.

During the 8-day stage race, more than 1 700 tents were erected in each of the four stage locations of Citrusdal, Saronsberg Wine Estate in Tulbagh, Wellington and Stellenbosch. Woolworths distributed 15 000 sandwiches, 8 000 chocolate milkshakes, 7 000 cups of coffee and 600kg of potatoes over this period. The Mediclinic team was a healthy mix of experience and clinical competence, with more than 60 Absa Cape Epics worth of experience between them. The Mediclinic team conducted  2 174 consultations over the 8 days and the wound clinic was exceptionally busy with the usual legendary saddle sores (averaged at 80 per day), but the added component this year was from the large number of heel blisters and wounds. Nearly 50 lacerations were surgically closed in the Mediclinic Race Hospital.

Says Kevin Vermaak, founder and director of the event: “Our tenth edition of the race was a huge success. We had some of the best cyclists in mountain biking history at the event, ensuring an exciting and competitive race – twelve previous and current world champions and 7 previous and current Olympic medalists participated this year. The Exxaro Development Academy produced the first black ladies team to complete the race and nine riders successfully complete their tenth event. This was also the year with the largest prize purse in mountain biking history – R1,5 million.”

The best stage location was won by Wellington. “Our host towns and venues have outdone themselves again this year. So much effort was made in welcoming us to their towns and we’re very appreciative of that. Next year’s route will again be announced in October this year and we look forward to showing our riders the best of the Western Cape and South Africa. Riders voted Wellington as their favourite town.

Schalk Burger, chairman of the Wellington Wine Route was delighted with the news: “We treasure accolades such as these. Congratulations from our side to all on the Absa Cape Epic team. I think the brand did exceptionally well with great TV coverage and a wonderful route. Also on behalf of Groenberg Primêr I would to thank you for the exceptional opportunity our school kids had with the helicopter fly past as well as the Jag Foundation rugby clinic.”

Adds Finance, Economic Development and Tourism Minister Alan Winde: “Big congratulations to the organisers of the 2013 Absa Cape Epic for once again delivering a great mountain bike race. The fact that Early Bird tickets for the 2014 race sold out in a record thirty-four seconds bears testament to the quality product delivered by the organisers.”

“This year’s race took participants through beautiful parts of the Western Cape such as Robertson, Caledon, Oak Valley, Lourensford and Cape Town. The race is a perfect showcase of our Province’s beauty, particularly to the international participants from forty-five countries that took part in the race.” Minister Winde concludes.

Those interested in participating in next year’s Absa Cape Epic, can still enter via the lottery system. The lottery will run until Thursday, 30 May 2013. Successful entrants will be notified on Tuesday, 4 June 2013, and can start their training programmes in anticipation of next year’s race. The cost is R45, 900 per team and an international travel option is on offer. Those interested can register at www.cape-epic.com.