2017 Who to Watch
Mountain bikers from around the world travel to South Africa to compete for the top spot at the race; most of these riders have won medals on the international stage and are well recognised in mountain biking communities.
Many of the professional racers stay in mobile homes during the race but also enjoy all activities the race offers, such as the evening dinners, chill zone and Absa Rider Lounge so it is easy for amateur and professional riders to mingle and make friends.
Get to know who the favourites are, and say hi to them in the race village, or on social media.
2017 Men's Who to Watch
It’s going to be the strongest Absa Cape Epic field yet and the racing should be thrilling.
Austrian strongman Alban Lakata and his Topeak Ergon teammate Kristian Hynek of the Czech Republic will be among the favourites.
Five-time Epic winner Christoph Sauser’s return from retirement with Jaroslav Kulhavy (Investec Songo Specialized) of the Czech Republic has been the major talking point of the pre-Cape Epic season.
An indication of the level of competition as that seven of the men’s teams will bring support or back up teams – more than ever before in the 14 years of the Absa Cape Epic. They will be on hand to assist the big guns with mechanical or other issues on the trails and sometimes to even hand over parts off their bikes.
Sauser and Kulhavy, Platt and Urs Huber (Bulls), Lakata and Hynek, world and Olympic champion Schurter and Matthias Stirnemann (Scott-SRAM), Damiano Ferraro and Samuele Porro (Trek Selle San Marco), Jochen Kaess and Markus Kaufmann (Centurion Vaude) and Max Knox and Héctor Leonardo Páez (Kansai Plascon) will all have backup teams in the race.
2017 Hansgrohe Women's Who To Watch
This year will see the debut of a support team in the Women’s category, where defending champion Ariane Lüthi of Switzerland and her new partner, German Adelheid Morath, (Team Spur) will bank on backup from Frenchwoman Sabrina Enaux and Belgian Alice Pirard.
Lüthi will have her work cut out making it a fourth successive win (all three previous race she won with Dane Annika Langvad). She and Morath will have to see off challenges from mountain bike legend and former Olympic gold medallist Sabine Spitz of Germany and her South African partner Robyn de Groot (Ascendis Health) as well as the formidable Swiss/Swedish combination of Esther Süss and Jennie Stenerhag (Meerendal CBC).