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The Absa Cape Epic is open to professional and amateur mountain bikers. To ensure that the race is accessible to riders from around the world no qualification is required.

To be eligible to ride participants must be at least 19 years old on 31 December of the year of the race. The Absa Cape Epic has seen amateurs from all walks of life compete alongside decorated professional mountain bikers, including Olympic medalists and World Champions. It is every rider's responsibility to ensure that they arrive at the Prologue start with the necessary fitness level to participate.

Each of the 1300 riders are required to have a full medical checkup by their doctor before taking part in the Absa Cape Epic. This includes supplying race organisers with the rider's medical history for the race doctors. This is essential for the planning and delivery of medical care at the Absa Cape Epic by the Mediclinic Corporate Events (Medical) Division. Each rider must also sign a personal indemnity form before they are able to compete.

There are five different race categories:


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