2019 Absa Cape Epic Race
Heaven and back to Earth again
The Grand Depart
In 2019 Cape Town’s most iconic landmark plays host, for the fifth time, to the inaugural stage of the Absa Cape Epic. The Prologue is more than just a scene setter though; it will provide the first shake-up of the general classification and hints of who has prepared best for the herculean task at hand. 21 kilometres long, with 600 meters of climbing, it takes in the now infamous “climb which cannot be named in print” the grind up to the cauldron of spectators gathered around Dead Man’s Tree and the scenic vistas of Table Mountain Road, all forming part of Table Mountain National park. The first section of Land Rover Technical Terrain of the race is located on the Plum Pudding Singletrack which tests bravery and skill in equal measures. Expect the UCI men’s and women’s teams to blitz the course and the time gaps to be calculated in seconds. But know that further down the field, surviving the Prologue unscathed should be the aim for the day – the Absa Cape Epic really begins on Monday in Hermanus.
Returning riders advise newcomers to ‘practice your climbing’.
After a Prologue on Table Mountain on March 17 riders will travel to whale-watching headquarters Hermanus for the 112km Stage 1. The next day they will cover 86km to the second race village at Oak Valley in Grabouw, where riders will spend three nights. Stage 3 covers 103km around and through Oak Valley, Stage 4 is a 43km time trial and Stage 5 – the brutal 100km Queen Stage – takes riders to mountain biking mecca Stellenbosch. Stage 6 covers 89km around Stellenbosch and then it is the Grand Finale: the final stage into Val de Vie in the Paarl Valley on 24 March. www.cape-epic.com
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