Cape Epic – Pedalling with the lions

Cape Epic – Pedalling with the lions

A few years ago, Kevin Vermaak, South African, was worried: there were not enough mountain bike races in Africa, therefore, he decided to create his own. That is how, in 2004, the Cape Epic race was born.

However, how is it possible that in Africa there were not enough bike races in such a big continent? Well, maybe after reading this article you will get a better idea on why.

Cape Epic is the most televised mountain bike event in the world and gathers, during 8 days, the best and toughest mountain bikers in the world, together with amateur bikers. All the competitors are selected by lot and in 2016 30.000 people applied for a place in the lot, but only 1.200 made it to the final competition.

Just another day at Cape Epic

Just another day at Cape Epic

Cape Epic is for partners.

Besides being selected, pay the registration fee (1.500 €) and fly to South Africa, you will need to find somebody you can participate with. The elements of this race make necessary to participate with somebody else, but also being able to share such an intense experience with somebody is, indeed, a great opportunity.

Ask anybody who has participated in the Cape Epic, they will all agree on one thing: you never know what is going to happen, as you will be surrounded by dangers: Fallings, extreme heat, floodings, wild animals and the accumulated fatigue make essential to go with somebody else.

 

However, and according to the rules, you cannot be more than 2 minutes away from your partner. In case you get very far away from each other, you will face a one-hour penalty, and if this happens 3 times you will be disqualified.

Cape Epic in numbers

Cape Epic is divided in 5 categories: men, women, mix, master (over 40 years old) and grand master (over 50 years old). The 1.200 contestants that participated in the Cape Epic in 2016 were arriving from 40 different countries.

Cape Epic map, 2016

Cape Epic map, 2016

In the 8 days that the competition lasts, it covers 647 kilometres and 14.950 of climbing. The first day of the competition is a warming up (the Cape Epic names it Prologue) of 20 kilometres and the 7 remaining days, the competitors will cover distances between 70 and 100 kilometres every day, climbing up to 2500 metres.

Random facts about the Cape Epic

– So far, only 4 competitors have completed all the editions of the Cape Epic: 3 men and 1 woman, all of them from South African.

– This competition has a zero tolerance policy regarding doping. In this regard any cyclist who is found guilty of doping in any competition around the world, ever, will be banned from Cape Epic forever.

– Due to its great intensity, many people refer the Cape Epic as the “Tour de France of mountain biking”.

Cape Epic, among the lions...and cows

Cape Epic, among the lions…and cows

– Although the route changes every year, the finish line on the last stage is situated at the Western Cape in South Africa.

– Those contestants who finish the competition 3 times are given the title of “Amabubesi” (in Zulu lion’s pride), together with a personalised medal and certificate. Furthermore, the entry for the next year race will be guaranteed for the Amabubesi that finish the race nine times.

Cape Epic camp

Cape Epic camp

Are you planning or have you ever participated in the Cape Epic?

In Safesport ID we believe that any contestant should use a Safesport ID bracelet, not only during the competition but also the training. IF you have participated in the 2016 Cape Epic, reach us on service@safesportid.com. We would love to hear your experience and you will receive a 50% discount in your bracelet

 

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