One of the toughest mountain bike races in the world has been taking place this week in South Africa, where the annual Absa Cape Epic has been unfolding. This 8-day stage race pits teams of two riders against one another on some of the most challenging terrain that the Western Cape has to offer.
Just how difficult is this event? It is so tough that the Union Cycliste Internationale has rated is as “hors categorie” – or beyond category – a status that is held by such other cycling events as the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, and Vuelta a España. In other words, it ranks right up there with the three cycling classics.
But don’t just take my word for it. Check out the two-minute video below from Stage 4 of the race. It’ll give you a true sense of just how challenging the Cape Epic can be. This stage was more than 111 km (69 miles) in length, and feature over 2000 meters (6561 ft) of climbing. That’s a tough day in the saddle, but imagine doing that for over a week. My legs are tired just thinking about it.
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