These are the untamed landscapes of the 2017 ABSA Cape Epic – duel of the mountain bike giants in South Africa from 19.-26. March 2017. Beauty is in the eye of the rider.
The 14th Cape Epic leads over 691 km and 15,400 meters heights through the unique landscape at the Western Cape of South Africa. The strongest starter field of all time is up to 1300 mountain bikers. Stunning scenery, varied stages and the top performance of the athletes ensure a guaranteed exciting race series.
The Prologue of the Cape Epic 2017 took place in the beautiful Meerendal Wine Estate. Prologue defines the start order for the first stage.
In the male category, Manuel Fumic from Germany together with his partner Henrique Avancini from Brazil won in front of the Swiss duo Nino Schurter and Matthias Stirnemann. Samuele Porro from Italy and Alexey Medvedev from Russia took third place.
Caledon/South Africa – After two days of extreme weather conditions Stage 2 of the Absa Cape Epic was shortened to 62km. Instead of riding the 102km to Elandskloof near Greyton, riders finished at what would have been the second water point for the day at the Botanical Gardens just outside Caledon.
Elandskloof/South Africa – Stage 3 was a relatively short 78km that took riders out of the Elandskloof race village towards Genadendal and through the Greyton network of mountain bike trails. It was a day for the cross-country specialists to rise to the occasion, with Schurter and Stirneman duly obliging.
Oak Valley/South Africa – Stage 4 of the Absa Cape Epic was a 112km trek from Elandskloof near Greyton to Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin. It was a day that most expected marathon men Christoph Sauser and Jaroslav Kulhavy (Investec-Songo-Specialized) to make their move and knock the cheeky cross-country kings off their perch.
The Men’s category is set for a thrilling finale after Olympic cross-country champion Nino Schurter and teammate Matthias Stirnemann (SCOTT-SRAM MTB Racing) claimed their first stage win of the 2017 Absa Cape Epic on Friday. Thanks to another strong ride they also moved into the overall race lead after the 84km Stage 5.
With just one day to go, both the men’s and women’s overall race leaders at the Absa Cape Epic have their hands firmly on the respective crowns after the Queen Stage around Grabouw on Saturday – but it was all change in the battle for the other podium positions.
There was a second stage win for the SCOTT-SRAM Young Guns of Michiel van der Heijden and Andri Frischknecht at the Grand Finale of the 2017 Absa Cape Epic, but the crowds at Val de Vie in Paarl had lined up to watch Olympic champion Nino Schurter and partner Matthias Stirnemann claim their maiden Absa Cape Epic crown.