All systems go for Epic

2010-03-19 10:43

The Absa Cape Epic, now in its 7th year and promising to be even more competitive and exciting than previous years, starts on Sunday. Teams consisting of two cyclists each will cross 722km of some of the Western Cape’s most beautiful landscapes, including Diemersfontein, Ceres, Worcester and Oak Valley.

One of the most visited tourist attractions in the southern hemisphere, the Victoria & Alfred (V&A) Waterfront, will host the opening celebrations and registration. Some of the world’s top mountain bikers as well as local sports stars will ride a 13km race on Robben Island, a world heritage site, on Friday, 19 March. The Big Tree soccer tournament for kids will also take place on Friday between 10:00 and 12:00, on Market Square, with diski dancers showing their steps in the Amphitheatre next door. This will be followed by the ‘On the Couch” programme with Mike Mike (Mike Hamel, the lead announcer for the event) and Paul Kaye. They will be interviewing celebrities such as Chester Williams, Joel Stransky, Mark Fish, Allan Dawson and Marius Hurter who will all be participating in this year’s Absa Cape Epic.

The world’s best professional riders will get their chance on stage including names such as Nino Schurter, the reigning World Cross-Country Champion, South Africa’s current U/23 World Champion Burry Stander, Bart Brentjens (two times Olympic medalist) and many more. The show will also include infotainment on aspects of the event. Another highlight will be Kenny Bealay, the world trick riding champion, who will be here from Germany. During Friday evening’s exciting programme there will be an Around the World party at Ferrymans. Saturday will see the continuation of these activities, again with diski dancers, and “On the Couch’ with Mike Mike and Paul Kaye from around 09:30 to 14:00, with the opening ceremony at North Wharf at 14:30.

On Sunday, 21 March at 09:00, the race will start at Diemersfontein in the heart of the wine country and riders will finish eight days later at Lourensford in Somerset West.

Cyclists from around the world will complete eight stages, each with its own challenges and difficulties. The route changes considerably each year and will lead riders through some of the country’s most unspoilt terrain. Live entertainment for the entire family, including wine tasting, magnificent scenery and the finest food and wine will be on offer at the finish at Lourensford Wine Estate.

Mountain biking enthusiasts not participating in the Absa Cape Epic are invited to enter the MTN Cape Times Vigne-a-Vigne mountain bike race. The race, which takes place on the last day (28 March 2010), promises participants breathtaking scenery and spectacular mountain biking terrain.

The Cape Times Lourensford Vineyard Run is a unique 11 km trail running race. The Vineyard Run (also on 28 March 2010) will start at 08:30, providing participants with beautiful vistas and numerous climbs, giving runners the chance to test their trail-running skills.

The Junior Bike Challenge is for kids between the ages of 12 and 16. These young cycling enthusiasts can enter at the Lourensford Wine Estate on the day (28 March 2010). There will be a demarcated kiddies’ area with fun activities such as face painting, a jump castle and much more.

Live entertainment for the entire family, including wine tasting, magnificent scenery and the finest food and wine will be on offer on Sunday, 28 March, at the finish at Lourensford Wine Estate, as well as the opportunity to see the ever popular Watershed in action. Entrance is free.