Yesterday I posted a story about two South African adventure racers who are attempting to break the speed record on the Drakensberg Grand Traverse. While that attempt is still on going, it isn’t the only major outdoor sporting event to watch in the country. The Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike Race is also underway, hosting some of the top riders from around the world in a stage race that is both fast and technically demanding.
The race got underway on Sunday and is eight days in length. It runs from Durbanville to Somerset West, covering some 718 km (446 miles) in the process. On top of that distance, the riders face a grueling 14,850 meters (48,720 ft) of total climbing over the course of the eight stages, which can zap the strength out of their legs with the daily grind.
At the moment, the race is led by Team Centurion Vaude which is made up of Markus Kaufmann and Jochen Kaess, both of Germany. They’re followed by Team Meerendal Songo Specialized – Christoph Sauser (SUI) and Frantisek Rabon (CZE) in second place, and Team BMC Mountainbike Racing – Lukas Fluckinger (SUI) and Martin Fanger (SUI) in third. With five more stages yet to go, it remains anyones race however.
The video below are highlights from the first stage. It’ll give you an idea of what the 1200 riders are experiencing out on the course. Looks like a great race in a great setting.