Widely considered the pinnacle of mountain bike racing, and credited as the Tour de France of mountain biking by 1996 Olympic gold medallist in mountain biking, Bart Brentjens, the 2014 ABSA Cape Epic is 718km over 8 days with 14850m of climbing, tackled by 1200 riders.
This year the route enters the Overberg for stage 3 on Wednesday 26 March 2014
at Swellendam travelling from Arabella Wine Estate to The Oakes Estates in Greyton. Riviersonderend village hosts a shady spectator point. Exclusive viewing can be arranged at the Melozhori Game Reserve, home to some 18 species of game including buffalo, giraffe and zebra. This wilder side of the epic can be booked by contacting Melozhori Game Reserve.
Stage 4, Thursday 27 March, starts and finishes at The Oaks Estate, Greyton. Greyton is the quintessential storybook village, populated with artisans, artists and wonderful, authentic persons. Add to that mountain bike enthusiasts in abundance for the epic. Stage 4 sees all 3 spectator points within 20 minutes of the race village making this a particular exciting stage for spectators.
Stage 5, Friday 28 March, takes off at The Oaks Estate, Greyton and heads to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin. The Queen’s Stage incorporates the highest point on the 2014 Epic route. 2 spectator points line this route, though only point A is accessible to mobile homes and city cars, point B requires an off road vehicle. If you have access to something that’ll transport you to point B it’s well worth it. You’ll be able to offer support to the riders as they sweat blood and tears en route to the summit and of course the views are spectacular.
Stage 6, Saturday 29 March, begins and ends in Elgin at the Oak Valley Wine Estate. 3 spectator points make for great viewing and hullabaloo support on the penultimate race day. Point A, Houw Hoek Inn, gifts fans a fantastic audience early in the morning, have breakfast while riders whizz past. Point B on South Hill will offer picnics and wine tasting and Point C is at Paul Cluver’s amphitheatre. It’ll be difficult to find a better day of spectatorship anywhere, for any sport, than Stage 6 of the Epic.
Stage 7, Sunday 30 March, sees the riders bid farewell to the Overberg as they head towards the finish line on Lourensford Wine Estate.
For more information on the 2014 ABSA Cape Epic, visit the website
Stage Images from cape-epic.com