Last month I was invited by Absa to join their celebrity mountain biking team to take on the ABSA Cape Epic in 2014. Not being a mountain biker, this was a very difficult decision to say yes to. I have been borrowing my neighbour’s bike to train with, and after numerous falls. I finally said yes to be part of this incredible adventure. (Or as my friends call it, a crazy adventure.)
My fellow team mates include: Joel Stransky; Stefan Terblanche; Owen Hannie; William Mokgopo; Hlubi Mboya (from ‘Isidingo’); Andre Ross; Ernst Viljoen; Clayton Duckworth; and Kevin McCallum. My riding partner for that week will be Viljoen – a man who has done this race many times and has partnered with many celebrities over the last couple of years to get them through the race.
The Absa Cape Epic takes place every year around the last week of March and the first week of April. The race is held over eight days and includes a time-trial prologue.
This week I attended the route launch at the V&A Waterfront, as well as traveling to Johannesburg for the route launch announcement The eagerly awaited new route of the eleventh edition of the Absa Cape Epic, which takes place from March 23 to 30, 2014, will be as challenging as previous years. Both local and international mountain biking enthusiasts will be taking on the demanding adventure of 718kmm, with 14850m of climbing from Meerendal Wine Estate in Durbanville to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West.
The route, which changes significantly each year, will lead 1200 cyclists through vast distances of virgin territory, previously untouched by the race. With its challenging and exhilarating landscapes, the stage locations of Meerendal Wine, Arabella Wines in Robertson, The Oaks in Greyton and Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin await the most prestigious mountain bike stage race in the world, before riders again finish at the Lourensford Wine Estate, as has been tradition for the past 7 years.
I must admit after seeing the route, and realizing its only five months until I tackle this challenge, I am nervous and scared, but excited to be part of a race that showcases the best that the Western Cape has to offer.
* For more details on this race and to see how my training is coming along, follow my updates on Twitter: @liezelv.