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Race Report - Overcoming Challenges - 2021 ABSA Cape Epic

It’s been a couple weeks since the ABSA Cape Epic, and I have finally had a bit of time to reflect and enjoy the achievement of completing such a challenging race. It was my second time racing it, and I absolutely loved the 2021 edition.

Every year the course is different. This is what makes the Epic so incredibly exciting. You never know what you’re going to get, and those who enter early, eagerly watch to see the course revealed. The biggest change to the 2019 edition was the increased amount of single track. Thinking back now to my two Epic experiences, I actually can’t compare them as they are so different. More single track definitely suited my riding style, as well as my partner’s, so we had a field day when it came to playing in the mountains. To have someone who matches your technical ability is magical, and I am so grateful to have shared this experience with Vera Looser.

Stage by stage, I hope you enjoy reading about my 2021 Cape Epic Experience!


It’s finally here! 19.64km;

581m Climbing.

Weather: Wet | Rainy | Muddy

Racing time: 1:00:29

Stage Result: 6th Place

GC Result: 6th Place

Personal Reflection:

The perfect way for Vera and I to race-meet each other. Communication was great, riding styles match perfectly. Climbing-wise, Vera was incredible at open gravel climbs, while I balanced us out with tricky technical climb gees. It was wet and rainy, but I have always enjoyed that kind of weather funnily enough. I feel like it takes the pressure off completely, and the more fun you can have, the smoother your lines, and the faster you’ll ride.

Stage 1:

What a start! 97.46km;

1967m Climbing.

Weather: Dry | Warm | Sandy

Racing time: 5:02:57

Stage Result: 6th Place

GC Standing: 6th Place

Personal Reflection:

Holy smokes! If growing pains are thing in racing, we managed to overcome them in 5 hard hours of racing. Within the first 10km of racing, Vera managed to double pierce her tire with the longest wire I’ve ever seen, and I managed to twist my handle bars skew through a river crossing. I had a good laugh when the cameramen were on us while we swiftly fixed the puncture and began our race back to the main field. It took us 4hrs and 30min to catch position 6th and 7th. I couldn’t believe it. To add a cherry to this cake, there was a sprint for the finish line. I loved it. What a way to start the Cape Epic!

Stage 2:

Queen Stage. 98.70km;

2141m Climbing. Up, Up, Up, and Over.

Weather: Dry | Warm | Rocky | Steep!

Racing time: 5:10:38

Stage Result: 7th Place

GC Standing: 7th Place

Personal Reflection:

Tankwa, my dear friend. It’s a love-hate relationship and today was a beautiful reflection of that. We were both feeling the fatigue from yesterday’s comeback but fortunately, I knew the terrain like the back of my hand. I love the technical rocky terrain, it beats on your body but if you know how to ride it you can actually find rhythm in the chaos. Vera and I took turns and worked really well, despite time that we lost. I enjoyed parts, other parts were brutal, but the 5km final descent was breathtaking, including the part where I rode into a rock wall with my left hand... Poor rock.

Stage 3:

So Close! 88.17km;

2089m Climbing.

Weather: HOT!

Racing time: 4:51:26

Stage Result: 5th Place

GC Result: 6th Place