Organisers have unveiled the route of the seventh Absa Cape Epic, which will see 1,200 mountain bikers pit themselves against some of South Africa's most dramatic terrain.
The 2010 race takes place from 21 to 28 March. Over eight days, competitors will ride 722km, much of it through territory previously untouched by the event.
Kevin Vermaak, director and founder of the Absa Cape Epic, said: “Our route designer Leon Evans, or as he is best known amongst riders, Dr Evil, has found the perfect balance between exciting trails, challenging terrain and wider vistas.”
Opening celebrations and registration will take place at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town, with the first stage starting at Diemersfontein in the heart of wine country. The race will finish at Lourensford Wine Estate.
Absa Cape Epic 2010
- Stage 1: Diemersfontein to Ceres (117km with 2,190m of climbing)
- Stage 2: Ceres to Ceres (90km with 1,625m of climbing)
- Stage 3: Ceres to Ceres (115km with 2,280m of climbing)
- Stage 4: Ceres to Worcester (86km with 1,640m of climbing)
- Stage 5: Worcester to Worcester (Time trial; 27km with 860m of climbing)
- Stage 6: Worcester to Oak Valley (123km with 2,240m of climbing)
- Stage 7: Oak Valley to Oak Valley (99km with 2,160m of climbing)
- Final: Oak Valley to Lourensford (65km with 1,640m of climbing)
For full details of each of the stages, and more information on the race, visit www.cape-epic.com.
One team already confirmed for the challenge are the JAG AllStars, who will be raising money for the JAG Foundation, which aims to give young people opportunities through grassroots sport.
There are some famous faces on the team including ex rugby stars Joel Stransky and Chester Williams, and adventurer Riaan Manser – the first person to circumnavigate the African continent by bicycle.
They'll be joined by endurance racer Pierre Loubser, Absa's Ernst Viljoen, Raymond Hack – CEO of the South African Football Association – and biokineticist Tanya van der Merwe.