The Absa Cape Epic, the most televised mountain bike race in the world, has announced an increased prize purse of R500 000 for next year, which consolidates the event’s position as largest prize purse in the world of endurance mountain biking.

Says Kevin Vermaak, founder and director of the Absa Cape Epic: “We’d like to honour the effort that so many of the world’s top riders make to ride the race, travelling from around the world to be here. The Absa Cape Epic is by far the highest payout of any race in South Africa, road or mountain bike, and I’m happy that we can do this for cycling in South Africa.”

The organisers plan to increase the prize money of the Absa Cape Epic going forward. Vermaak continues: “I’m proud that we’ve created a business model that allows for the richest prize purse in world mountain biking to be awarded in South Africa. Professional mountain biking is nothing like professional golf, but I’d like the Absa Cape Epic to raise the stakes in mountain biking in the same way that the Million Dollar Golf tournament did in golf back in 1981. Although it’s no longer the case today, back in the eighties the winner of the Million Dollar might have taken home more than the total winnings of the US PGA Tour leader. If South Africa could do this in the world of golf 30 years ago, with the help of some incredible sponsors and supporters of the race, we can also do this in the world of mountain biking.”

“Even if we have all the world champions on the start line, the race remains absolutely achievable for anyone that sets his or her mind to do it. And riding alongside the world’s best is something you can only do at the Absa Cape Epic. Perhaps what is even more important to the amateurs that come from all over the world is the quality of the route and of our event services. This remains the core of what we’re about,” Vermaak concludes.

The Absa Cape Epic, the largest full-service mountain bike stage race in the world, is organised and presented with the participating riders at the focal point. Their satisfaction, well-being and enjoyment of the race are the organisers’ primary goals.