19-26 March 2017
I try to avoid the word “epic”, as it’s so over-used in cycling… but this time, it’s warranted!
The Absa Cape Epic is an 8-stage MTB race in South Africa, contested by teams of two riders in three categories: women’s and men’s teams, mixed pairs, Masters and Grand Masters. The race is 691km in total, with 15,400m of climbing, in some of the most incredible landscapes. Riders sleep in tent villages, provided for them, and have to contend with extreme conditions. It’s glorious, and it’s especially great for fans of women’s cycling, because it’s exactly the same course for the women as for the men, and really shows up anyone who think women are physically lesser. You can check out the route video, and on the website. And the race is so supportive of women – they say they were the first major cycling race to offer equal prize money for the women and men.
We can follow the race live, and watch on the race livestream, as well as watch on TV! You can find where and when it will be shown on TV here, and the details of the livestream timing here. The stream will be on the race homepage, and live timings are in South African SAST, which is 1 hour ahead of European CET, 2 hours ahead of UK GMT, 6 hours ahead of North American EDT, and 9 hours behind Australian AEDT – so a 9am start would be 08:00 CET, 7am GMT, 3am EDT and 6pm AEDT. If you missed the stream live, you can also watch replays of each day on the race livestream and catch up on all the action.
We can also follow the race live with the great ticker on the race homepage, including photos (click each stage to see each day’s racing) the race twitter, and using the #CapeEpic hashtag – and the live GPS tracking on the race website too, and with the apps on that page.
There is always great media from the Absa Cape Epic team, and I very much recommend their photo galleries, and the daily highlights videos on their YouTube. They have a lot of pre-race content up already – for example, here’s who to watch in the Hansgrohe Women’s category this year, and a video run-down too:
Head over the the race website, where there is so much excellent information. It’s an incredible race, whether you’re a MTB fan, or a complete newbie, and they make it very, very easy to fall in love with the sport. Start with the 2017 race guide, and click around the site, watch videos from previous years, and generally get excited for this year’s race!