Cape Epic by the numbers (2023)

Based on the stories, it sounds like the Absa Cape Epic lived up to its name once again - eight days with over 600 kilometers of riding and over 15,000 meters of climbing! It is the most televised mountain bike race in the world, designated as the off-road Tour de France and classified as hors categorie by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). The race ends as a two person team and Wahoo'sIan Boswellpaired with Mitch Docker in the amateur category - to win in 30:43:52!

In the professional category Kim le Court and Vera Looser (Efficient Infiniti Insure) took first place in the women's category with an overall time of 33:11:37 while Matthew Beers and Christopher Blevins (Toyota-Specialized-NinetyOne) took the overall podium place for 26:17:04.

Those finishing times are fierce given the crazy conditions - you wonder how much effort can be attributed to any intensity other thanFunctional Training Strength (FTP)?!? You may be surprised by the variation attributed to maximal aerobic power (MAP) andAnaerobic Capacity (AC)intensity throughout the race. Let's check each stage with parallel dialogue from Ian Boswell's log and power data.

Prologue: Meerendal Wine Estate 27km/750m

The race starts with an initial climb followed by technical descents and ends with the Stairway to Heaven climb.

Ian:“In a typical prologue, Mitch and I started hard – 390 watts in the first 10 minutes of the climb. At the top I lost Mitch's wheel on a flat but very steep and difficult descent. After regrouping, Mitch used his classic power to pull us through the flat, windy roads. We were soon climbing singletrack again, forced into a much-needed break behind the pack of riders before moving into a clean switch-up ride to the finish.”

(Video) 2023 Absa Cape Epic | Men's Category Full Highlights

By numbers:Ian had an intense 98 minutes to start this adventure. He spent only 25 minutes (25%) at FTP intensity with 57 minutes (58%) at MAP and 16 (17%) at AT! Its peak power output at 5 seconds and 1 minute was 746 W and 464 W respectively.

1st stage: Hermanus 98 km/2550 m

The stage includes three iconic climbs, and when the terrain is not uphill, the downhill is rough and steep.

Ian:“This was the most difficult stage of the Cape Epic for me because my technical skills were still developing and I was getting to know my bike, tires and ground. I was constantly at the back, running out of every corner. With over 60km of course to go, Mitch and I were out of first. Here we were able to ride at a more stable pace, but all the early acceleration started to catch up with me. With about 10km to go, my legs started to cramp – something I've never experienced before. Fortunately, it was a long, paved downhill to the finish.”

By numbers:The data tells of Ian's challenging day after a hard effort in the prologue. His 5 second and 1 minute peak power was significantly higher at 750 W and 506 W. To add, Ian's 5 minute peak was 397W. He spent more than two hours at MAP intensity, 44% of 275 minutes of driving!

2nd stage: Hermanus 116 km/1850 m

The course starts and ends on tamer, flat terrain with two wicked singletrack climbs with instant descents in the middle.

Ian:“Stage 2 was the flattest stage when you look at the km/m ratio, so it was a good day to track the wheels. Due to the lower start, it also meant that the big group stayed together much longer, which again benefited Mitch and my road racing background. At the halfway point, we conquered the first climb and distanced our rivals in the amateur category on the second climb before the technical descent. With 30km to go, I went to work and reached the finish line on flatter and windier roads.”

(Video) Epic Bike Check | Candice Lill | 2023 Absa Cape Epic

By numbers:The less steep course was still tough as Ian and Mitch's finish time was just under 5 hours! Intensity was lower 55% of the time at FTP intensity, the lowest of the three initial days. Ian's 5 minute peak power was down to 368W and his 20 minute peak power was 310W.

Etapa 3: Hermanus do Oak Valley Wine Estate 100 km/2300 m

The transfer to Oak Valley involves some of the toughest terrain, traversing a massive mix of unpaved, rough tracks, new singletrack, dusty county roads and rocky country.

Ian:“So far my MTB skills have improved a bit and it's really paid off in terms of energy conservation. Mitch and I rode much more conservatively and stayed on the wheels of the lead group. We never pushed too hard on this stage and in many ways, it felt like a transition stage in a grand tour: just get through it and stay safe. Regardless, we still had the strength to join the leading Group A (Amateurs, Masters and Mixed Pairs) riders by the time we reached the finish.”

By numbers:Although Ian's comments included the words conservative and transition, he finished the phase with significantly less time at FTP intensity, 47%, and higher MAP intensity, 41%. Interestingly, its 5-minute peak power was identical to Phase 2, but its 20-minute peak power was significantly lower at 285W.

Faza 4: Oak Valley Wine Estate kronometar 47 km/875 m

The longest time trial in Absa Cape Epic history with nasty, sharp climbs.

Ian:“We knew we had to ride hard on the faster sections to keep the lead on the one track where I knew I was going to slow Mitch down. I spent much of the course between 15-45 seconds behind, sprinting to close the gap every time we left one lane and returned to the open road. Despite being a shorter stage, the TT was still difficult for me because I really struggled on one track.”


By numbers:Ian and Mitch finished the time trial in just over two hours, with Ian riding an incredible 19% (23 minutes) at AT intensity probably due to those sprints to close the gap.

Etapa 5: The Queen Stage, Oak Valley Wine Estate do Lourensford Wine Estate 102 km/2450 m

One long ascent as an introduction to a high mountain at over 1100 m above sea level before the 40 km mark.

Ian:"I was very nervous about this stage and the conditions because of the rain the night before. From the beginning, we only planned to get through the day safely and follow the wheels of our competitors. I couldn't even do that on the first descent of the day, because we were riding on a double course with running water. I managed to make up some time on the climbs, but again on the next descent I was at the back. Covered in mud and soaked to the bone, we continued to drive calmly towards the sunny finish line. All in all, we lost about 6 minutes to the leading amateur team, but we still felt successful because we finished the stage safely and without any problems."

By numbers:The longest stage of the race in terms of total time (5 hours, 11 minutes) was also the highest percentage of time at FTP intensity (63%). Impressively, Ian was still riding strong with a 20 minute peak power of 300W.

Stage 6: Lourensford Wine Estate 78 km/2300 m

For the first time in Cape Epic history, a full stage on one property with a non-stop roller coaster.

Ian:“The rain after Stage 5 returned overnight and I was nervous about the day again. Fortunately, we started with a long dirt climb where Mitch and I knew we could get a head start on the sloppy singletrack descents. Every second we gained here would give me more room for error on the descents. We prioritized survival over maintaining team communication. We climbed as fast as we could and descended as safely as we could. We finished the day well ahead of anyone in our category, but we just wanted to get out of the cold, wet weather and get back to our camper.”

(Video) Cape Epic BIKE CHECK - Giant Anthem Pro 2

By numbers:The slightly shorter course (in no less brutal conditions) allowed Ian to ride at a higher overall intensity with 58% in FTP and 35% in MAP. Its 5-minute peak power was about the same as the Queen stage, but its 20-minute peak power was higher at 326W.

Stage 7: Lourensford Wine Estate to Val de Vie Estate 80 km/2400 m

The journey to the finish includes four major climbs (including cycling) for the perfect combination of pain and pleasure.

Ian:“The last day was frustratingly perfect. The sun came back, the tracks dried out and we had a big enough lead in our category that we just needed to ride safe and enjoy the trails. I felt good enough to get a small lead on the first and second climbs over the leading A group so I could descend at my own speed. The race was over, we got through eight days of intense MTB riding without any mechanical problems, crashes or arguments, and that felt like a big win. Will I return to Cape Epic? Maybe, but first I need to unpack my well-worn bike, assess the wear and tear and give myself a few days of easy riding.”

By numbers:Ian and Mitch finished strong with a time of under four hours. Ian's power figures confirm his positive rating with 51% at FTP intensity and a 20 minute peak power of 309W.

In summary, Ian spent almost exactly 50% of the total 30 hours and 43 minutes at FTP intensity - meaning the other half was a mix of higher MAP and AC intensities. That spin is impressive. Hopefully they were able to enjoy the view despite the constant focus required to dominate at that level. Congratulations to Ian and Mitch!!!

(Video) Stage 4 | Live Broadcast | 2022 Absa Cape Epic


Who won the 2023 Cape Epic? ›

Matt Beers and Christopher Blevins (Toyota-Specialized-NinetyOne) won the 2023 Absa Cape Epic at Val de Vie Estate in Paarl on Sunday.

How many Cape Epics have there been? ›

Cape Epic
Race details
First winnerKarl Platt ( GER ) Mannie Heymans ( NAM )
Most winsChristoph Sauser ( SUI ), Karl Platt ( GER ) and Annika Langvad ( DEN )
Most recentGeorg Egger ( GER ) Lukas Baum ( GER )
10 more rows

How much does it cost to enter the Cape Epic? ›

Only one lottery application per rider is accepted. Both riders in a prospective team can enter the lottery to increase the chance of being awarded an entry. A ZAR 150 fee is applicable to enter the lottery, which must be paid by credit card before the application is completed.

Who is the oldest Cape Epic finisher? ›

The 70-year old surgeon teamed up with his son, Retief, to compete in his first ever Absa Cape Epic. On Sunday he ended up being the oldest competitor this year to finish. What no statistic will ever indicate is that it literally took blood, sweat and tears for him to do so.

Who won the Cape Epic this year? ›

Beers and Blevins took the Stage 6 win. Their victory in arguably one of the most brutal stages in Cape Epic history was strategically significant.

What is the attrition rate for Cape Epic? ›

Epilogue. The ~20% attrition rate at this year's Cape Epic was no higher or lower than most other years, but for us to be on the wrong side of that equation was heartbreaking.

How many teams are in Cape Epic 2023? ›


What is the elevation of Cape Epic 2023? ›

How long is Absa Cape Epic? Dubbed the Tour de France of mountain biking,2023 edition has total riding distance of 658 km and total elevation of 15,775 m.

Where does the Cape Epic end? ›

The final spectator point of the 2022 Absa Cape Epic is located just 8 kilometres from the final finish line, at Val de Vie. If you are to make it to the Grand Finale on time to see your team finish, you cannot afford to dally at Vrede en Lust for too long.

Where can I watch the epic TV show? ›

You are able to stream Epic by renting or purchasing on iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon Instant Video.

Can anyone ride the Cape Epic? ›

First-time Absa Cape Epic riders will need to register, and provide their full name, SA ID number or passport number and email address. Only one lottery application per rider is accepted. Both riders in a prospective team can enter the lottery to increase the chance of being awarded an entry.

Can anyone race the Cape Epic? ›

While all levels of mountain bikers can compete at the Cape Epic, all eyes will be on the UCI Men and Women Categories as the pros battle it out through the South African wilderness.

Can anyone do the Cape Epic? ›

Overall Men & Overall Women - Wildcard Entry

Any professional UCI registered rider may apply via the Absa Cape Epic wildcard system, but entries are offered at the sole discretion of the Absa Cape Epic organisers.

How many riders are in Cape Epic? ›

The 2020 Absa Cape Epic was cancelled just 36 hours before it was due to start because of precautions relating to the Covid-19 virus. Over 1300 riders invested huge amounts of time, money and energy into preparing for the demanding eight-day race.

What does Amabubesi mean? ›

"Amabubesi" means "pride of lions" in Zulu, a fitting description for the tough breed of riders who tackle the Absa Cape Epic repeatedly.

Who is the only woman to have ridden and completed every single Absa Cape Epic? ›

Hannele Steyn is the only woman to have finished every Absa Cape Epic since the inaugural race in 2004 and is part of the four Last Lions, all of which have ridden every kilometre of every Absa Cape Epic to date.

What is a 90% attrition rate? ›

There may be a 90% attrition clause. As an example, if you hold 20 rooms, this attrition clause would mean that you are committed to bring at least 18 rooms OR you will pay a penalty.

Is 20% attrition bad? ›

A high attrition rate can be anything over 20% according to industry averages, however, these numbers vary by industry. Meaning if your company is experiencing staff turnover of over 20% for the year, they should be looking into ways of retaining employees.

What does 80% attrition rate mean? ›

The attrition penalty is usually the difference between the rooms you booked and the attrition limit. For example, if you sign a hotel contract for 100 room nights and your contracted attrition is 80%, you are required to book 80 room nights (or 80% of the total), or you will have to pay a penalty.

How technical is Cape Epic? ›

Most of the Cape Epic's climbs and singletrack sections are raw. The average Cape Epic stage is really harsh if you are accustomed to riding smooth forest singletrack or climbing up perfectly maintained fire and forestry roads.

Who is the specialized team at Cape Epic? ›

The Trinity Racing team, a subsidiary of Specialized and factory that has produced riders such as Tom Pidcock or Chris Blevins, will be in the Absa Cape Epic 2023 with a pair formed by French juniors Adrien Boichis and Paul Magnier.

Who won stage 2 of the Cape Epic? ›

Matt Beers and Christopher Blevins won the men's Stage 2 of the Absa Cape Epic, with Vera Looser and Kim le Court taking the women's category.

What are the categories for Cape Epic 2023? ›

2023 Absa Cape Epic will see the introduction of two new age group race categories, Amateurs and Great Grand Masters, in addition to extending leader jerseys to all women's age group categories. The Absa Cape Epic is known for pushing professional and amateur teams to their absolute limits.

How high is Cape Town above sea level? ›

5,217.8 ft

What date does the epic start? ›

Absa Cape Epic is a mountain bike cycling event category stage race in South Africa, limited to 1360 participants and was organized for the first time in 2004. The edition Absa Cape Epic 2024 is part of the circuit Global MTB Epic Series and will take place on Sunday 17 March 2024 with departure in to be announced, .

What is the stage 3 route in Cape Epic 2023? ›

The first transition stage of the 2023 Absa Cape Epic, Stage 3, takes teams inland from Hermanus to Oak Valley Estate in Elgin. The stage begins on trails familiar to returning teams but swiftly enters areas completely foreign to the event.

What is the stage 6 route of the Cape Epic 2023? ›

The penultimate stage (Stage 6) of the 2023 race marks a historic day for the Absa Cape Epic. The entire 82-kilometre route takes place within the grounds of one single estate – Lourensford Wine Estate, one of the largest and most singletrack-laden properties in South Africa.

What does it take to complete the Cape Epic? ›

In conclusion, the Cape Epic requires primarily an ability to sustain a high submaximal power output for several hours and, to a lesser extent, an ability to perform repeated high-intensity efforts throughout the race.

Where does the Cape Epic start? ›

The route kicks off with a short and sharp Prologue on the trails of Meerendal Wine Estate, before heading southeast to Hermanus, where the oceanside town hosts the race for two stages.

What time does the Cape Epic Prologue start? ›

Start times
SP 1: Brinksberg Dam08:00
SP 2: 20km mark09:20
UCI Women Start11:36
3 more rows

What time does Breck Epic start? ›

8:30am START!

Is Epic a free channel? ›

EPIC ON is the streaming video service from EPIC Channel offering Free and Subscription Video On Demand across all types of smartphones.

Do you have to pay for Epic TV? ›

EpicTV fresh, high-quality web series are available anywhere on the planet, absolutely free on as well as through our EpicTV iPad app and Smart TV app.

What does Epic TV cost? ›

Monthly: With a monthly plan, you pay $11.99 USD per month - there's no commitment, you can cancel at any time.

How much is the entry fee for the Cape Town Cycle Tour 2023? ›


The entry fee is R950. 00 per entrant (incl. VAT) until 31 January 2023 • The entry fee is R1495. 00 per entrant (incl.

How many people entered the Cape Town Marathon? ›

More than race registration

The 2023 Sanlam Cape Town Marathon Expo is on track to out-perform. With over 30 000 expected attendees, it's a huge opportunity for exhibitors to really connect with a thriving road and trail-running community over three action-packed days.

Do they race cars on the Isle of Man? ›

Onchan Raceway is the home of Stock car Racing on the Isle of Man. Regular weekly meetings are held throughout the summer season, which begins in late April and ends with the traditional end of Season Demolition Derby in late September.

How do you qualify for the Cape Town Marathon? ›

Every runner is required to complete the Cape Town Marathon within 6.5 (six and a half) hours; the 10km Peace Race within 2.5 (two and a half) hours and the 5km Peace Run within Page 4 1 (one) hour to be awarded a result unless the race organisers determine otherwise.

What is one of the oldest epics? ›

The oldest epic recognized is the Epic of Gilgamesh ( c. 2500–1300 BCE), which was recorded in ancient Sumer during the Neo-Sumerian Empire. The poem details the exploits of Gilgamesh, the king of Uruk.

When was the first Absa Cape Epic? ›

2011. Burry Stander made history on 3 April 2011 by becoming the first South African to win the Absa Cape Epic.

What are the 5 greatest epics? ›

The Five Great Epics (Tamil: ஐம்பெரும்காப்பியங்கள் Aimperumkāppiyaṅkaḷ) are five Tamil epics according to later Tamil literary tradition. They are Silappatikāram, Manimekalai, Cīvaka Cintāmaṇi, Valayapathi and Kuṇṭalakēci.

What are the two greatest epics? ›

The Ramayana and the Mahabharata: two epics of Asia.

What is the largest epic in history? ›

The Mahabharata is one of the longest epic poems ever written. It has over 200,000 verse lines, 1.8 million words and it is believed that it could have taken over 600 years to write! The oldest surviving piece of text is believed to be dated from 400BCE.

Who is leading the Cape Epic? ›

Beers and Blevins win Cape Epic, Looser and Le Court claim women's title. Matt Beers and Christopher Blevins (Toyota-Specialized-NinetyOne) won the 2023 Absa Cape Epic at Val de Vie Estate in Paarl on Sunday.

Who stole from Absa in Eastern Cape? ›

Xolela Masebeni was arrested in January after he allegedly fraudulently transferred over R100 million into six different bank accounts between September and December last year. He was shot dead at his Eastern Cape home two weeks ago.

How many miles is the Cape Epic? ›

The Cape Epic course. The race covers around 700km with 17,250m of climbing which is split up over an opening Prologue stage and followed by seven full stages. The stages feature dry dusty gravel sections, technical descents, and punishing climbs.


1. Epic Bike Check | Philip Buys | 2023 Absa Cape Epic
(Epic Series)
2. Stage 3 | Live Broadcast | 2022 Absa Cape Epic
(Epic Series)
3. The 2022 edition of Absa Cape Epic
(BTT Lobo)
4. LIVE | STAGE 6 | Absa Cape Epic
(Epic Series)
5. Epic Bike Check | Lachlan Morton | 2023 Absa Cape Epic
(Epic Series)
6. Cape Epic commits to growing number of black rider teams


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