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Men's Category Trophy

The Men’s trophy was created by celebrated South African artist Niël Jonker and awarded to the winning team for the first time in 2010. Niël works in several mediums and is held in high regard internationally for his painting, charcoal drawing and bronze sculptures. Besides his artistic skills, he is a keen mountain biker and was a natural choice to design the most prestigious trophy for mountain bikers.

For the trophy Niël took his inspiration from the original Cape Epic logo, which included Zebra stripes, a mountain biker and the colours of the South African flag.

The sculpture is cast in solid bronze and mounted on a block of Assegai timber, the trophy stands 37cm high and weighs 8,2kgs.

The winners of the floating trophy receive a mini replica also cast in bronze and presented in a box made from zebra skin and calf leather. Details about that year’s race, including distance, climbing and date, are inscribed on a small brass plaque.



Women's Category Trophy

The current Women’s trophy, designed by award-winning young Cape Town sculptor, Isabel Mertz, is in fact the second Women’s trophy to be awarded to the winners of the women’s category of the Cape Epic. The first Women’s trophy was introduced in 2012 to coincide with the women’s race being awarded Hors Catégorie (beyond categorisation) status by the UCI and the introduction of the new African cog logo for the Absa Cape Epic.
This first trophy was considered a too literal interpretation of the new Cape Epic logo, and was ultimately replaced by Mertz’s more symbolic design in 2016. The current trophy includes bronze stones which represent the rough and unforgiving terrain that riders must overcome. It includes two stones placed on top of each other, symbolising team work between the teams of two riders. The shape of the cast bronze ‘branches’ curling around the stones are based on the structure of an adrenaline molecule, emphasising the endurance aspect of the Cape Epic.

The sculpture is mounted on wood from an African fig tree: in African mythology figs and fig trees are symbols of fertility and femininity. The Women’s trophy is the first trophy to be designed by a female artist and the foundry in which it was cast is also exclusively


Exxaro Trophy

Exxaro Resources is a South African mining company which has been the main corporate sponsor of transformation at the Absa Cape Epic, if not in all of South African mountain biking. It is therefore appropriate that its name is enshrined in the trophy that is awarded to the winners of the Exxaro Development special jersey – for the highest placed team of historically-disadvantaged South African riders under the age of 26.
Exxaro introduced the special jersey race-within-a-race to the Absa Cape Epic in 2012 and the trophy two years later. Lwandiso Njara, protégé of acclaimed sculptor Angus Taylor, designed the trophy to resemble the transformation and progression of two ordinary young potential stars from the township into dedicated, victorious, mountain bikers. All the materials used in the sculpture were sourced from various Southern African Exxaro mines and include coal, iron ore and titanium. The result is a trophy that weighs in at 9,4kgs and which often gives the winning riders a surprise as they hoist it above their heads at prize giving.



The Burry Stander Memorial Trophy

The Burry Stander Memorial trophy, created in 2013, is awarded to the winners of the Absa African special jersey for the highest placed team from the continent.

The trophy was created by renowned local artist Angus Taylor in dedication to Burry Stander, the former U23 World Champion, World Cup winner and first South African winner of the Absa Cape Epic. Stander was tragically killed in a collision with a taxi while training on 3 January 2013. He had been scheduled to ride the 2013 event with his Swiss partner Christoph Sauser as defending champion. Angus has himself completed the Cape Epic four times and has an intimate feel for the race. He used exclusively South African materials in the design of the trophy. It was inspired by a Chiwara, a styled wood-carved antelope used in African ceremonies, which in this case is sculpted out of haematite from Thabazimbi. The Chiwara is depicted running on the base’s rugged Matumi wood, sourced from South African watercourses.




The Hannele Steyn Trophy

The Hannele Steyn Trophy was created in 2017 and will be awarded to the first all-African women’s team to cross the finish line as of the 2018 Absa Cape Epic.

Hannele Steyn is the only women to have finished every Absa Cape Epic since the inaugural race in 2004 and is part of the four Last Lion’s, all of which have ridden every race. The trophy touches on the strength of women at the Cape Epic, and this new trophy and category is vital in promoting African cycling.

Pretoria artist Kgaogelo Mashilo’s designed the trophy, which includes the Adinkra symbol of the Wawa Aba, the seed from wawa tree from West Africa.

Mashilo says: “The seed from the tree is renowned to be extremely hard and strong. The symbol of the seed, which is very distinctive, speaks of toughness and persistence. It is a really tough seed. I wanted to use that to show that female Absa Cape Epic riders have the same toughness of the seed”


The Last Lion Trophy

There are four riders who have completed every Absa Cape Epic. In 2016 the Last Lion trophy was introduced and it will be dedicated to the last cyclist who has finished every edition of the event. As things stand there are four who have managed to finish each of the 13 editions so far. The statue stands about 30cm tall and 50cm long and depicts a lion lying on a rock and looking out across the plains.
The Fabulous Four are Craig Beech, John Gale, Mike Nixon and Hannele Steyn and they will all be on the start line in 2017. Eventually, as one or another drops out or fails to finish, there will be one person left who has finished each event: The Last Lion.


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