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Words & Photos: Mark Sampson, Twitter – MarkSampsonCT


IMAGE01 Many months of preparation and hard training will take you only so far in the final stages of the race, but a strong mind with heaps of determination and grit are needed to take you to the finish line in Lourensford to become a Absa Cape Epic finisher.

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IMAGE02 The race covers every conceivable terrain the Western Cape has to offer, from high mountain single track to the old settler's wagon trail. When riders do find themselves on smooth flat jeep track, they get a chance to relax before the next big climb arrives.

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IMAGE03 This year, for the first time in history, the prize money was equal for male and female competitors, thanks to Sasol’s generous sponsorship. This created a hotly contested race in the Ladies category, which was finally won by Ariane Kleinhans and Annika Langvad (pictured here). • 3

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IMAGE04 The reason why the average bike price tipped the scales at just over R40,000 in 2014 is due to the excessive punishment they undergo. Punctures and other mechanical issues are very much part and parcel of the race and knowing how do deal with them comes with experience. • 5

IMAGE05 Swiss rider Christoph Sauser powering his way to winning the 134 km stage 3 leg of Robertson to Greyton, with partner Frantisek Rabon from the Czech Republic.

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IMAGE06 Exxaro, one of the sponsors, also had a strong showing in the 2014 Absa Cape Epic with 11 development teams hailing from the Exxaro MTB Academy. The academy allows individuals from a previously disadvantaged background the opportunity to train and live together, thereby helping them to function as a unit.  • 7

IMAGE07 The Absa Cape Epic is a truly international race, with 2014 seeing competitors from 45 different countries competing. Richard Laizer Loning’o was the only rider representing Tanzania, ultimately finishing a brilliant 98th overall with his Welsh partner, Thomas Holden.

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IMAGE08 Leaders in each category are distinguished by the unique colour of their jerseys. Here, the mixed pair of Yannick Lincoln and Aurelie Halbwacks, from Mauritius, push hard during the penultimate 85-kilometre stage from Oak Valley in Elgin. • • 11



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CAPE EPIC 2014: 2014 Absa Cape Epic through the lens  

DO IT NOW Magazine, Bicycling.Many months of preparation and hard training will take you only so far in the final stages of the race, but a...