This will be the route of the Cape Epic 2021
Cape Epic 2021 is finally upon us. After the circumstances experienced over the last year, one of the most important mountain bike stage races on the circuit will start in 2021. After a series of difficulties, the 2021 edition will be held in October. A rarity, but it is worth remembering the context.
Cape Epic 2021, finally
Cape Epic 2020 was suspended as we were in the midst of one of the toughest and most devastating phases of the global coronavirus pandemic. And Cape Epic 2021, in the first instance, was postponed. It was postponed to October, when it seems that we will definitely be able to see the best mountain bikers once again ride across South African terrain in this mix of challenge, adventure and cycling event.
That's why, today, we're taking a look at the Cape Epic 2021 route. Take out pen and paper and take note so you don't miss anything of one of the most renowned mountain bike races in recent years. The South African hell begins.
The Cape Epic 2021 route
During 8 days, the cyclists will cover 655 kilometres and accumulate more than 15500 metres of climbing in a stage race that starts on the 17th of October and runs until the 24th of the same month. These are the stages.
Only 20 kilometres will be used to structure the teams and decide their position on the grid. A 600-metre climb around Table Mountain National Park and the Quarry Climb, with a 19% gradient, will be the main attraction.
Asphalt roads and footpaths with views in many parts of the Cape Town Valley.
For the first time, some stages of the Cape Epic 2021 will be under 100 kilometres. This is the first one: 97 kilometres and 1800 metres of elevation gain, starting and finishing in Ceres.
The Eselfontein trails will warm up until the Dead Man Walking climb. From there, almost 30 kilometres of broken terrain, but tending to descend back down to Ceres.
A very tough stage. 95 kilometres, again under 100 kilometres, but over 2000 kilometres of elevation gain. Starts in Ceres and finishes in Saronsberg.
It runs through the Witzenberg Valley, one of the most extreme areas for mountain biking that Cape Epic 2021 did not want to miss. It is without doubt one of the queen stages. Sandstone and living nature and two scary walls. Above all, Old Gydo Pass, a narrow and very technical pass that is also very, very hard. The stage closes with a dizzying downhill on the Wagon Trail.
Stage 3 of the Cape Epic 2021 starts and finishes in Saronsberg. It is 9 kilometres long and has an elevation gain of 2100 kilometres. Very tough profile with up to three peaks: Bone Trail, Three Gorges and Fantles Pass, the latter a real beast.
The latter is undoubtedly the toughest climb of the Cape Epic 2021, with an average of 14% and peaks well over 20%. The stage finishes again by descending to Saronsberg at full speed.
Start in Saronsberg and finish in Cput. 105 kilometres and almost 2000 kilometres of elevation gain. We could say that this is a respite from the past and for what is to come, but the Kluitjieskrall and the Bainskloof Pass would leave us as liars.
Throughout this totally private hunting reserve, the bikers will have sections of much enjoyment beyond the suffering that a stage of the Cape Epic 2021 cannot lack.
Small but tough. 84 kilometres, the shortest, but almost 3000 metres of elevation gain. Whoever gets there in one piece has a lot to gain.
It starts and finishes in Cput, Wellington, and is a challenge for the legs of the most demanding climbers. A first leg-breaker section at Heavy Legs, a very tough summit at Hawequa and a double finish at Aap D'Huez. From there, it's all downhill on a dusty track that makes it difficult to catch up.
95 kilometres and 2,300 kilometres of elevation gain, with the same start and finish as stage 5 of the Cape Epic 2021. This stage will once again give the cyclists a breather ahead of the final stretch.
A much more technical stage, with a very broken terrain, very deteriorated, and with lower strength. So the head, the concentration, will be the key to avoid incidents and falls and to reach the end in one piece.
Short but tough, stage 7 of the Cape Epic 2021 adds another 68 kilometres and 1850 metres of elevation gain. It starts from Wellington again, but finishes in the Val de Vie.
Much of it takes place on a terrain that tends to downhill but constantly overcoming obstacles and small steep slopes. Almost at the end, the Freedom Struggle will give you a tremendous warm-up for the last flat section to go in time trial mode.
How much does it cost to participate in the Cape Epic 2021?
First of all, places for the Cape Epic 2021 are very, very limited. For this reason, priority is always given to those who have participated in advance. In fact, those who participated in the 2019 edition had their reservation confirmed for the following three years if they wished to do so, with preference.
The approximate cost of participation per team is 6300 dollars, around 5300 euros, although participants who guarantee their presence in successive editions have a 50% discount. If it is your first time, the cost would be that total.