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Most riders begin planning for the Absa Cape Epic a year in advance. It is impossible to over-prepare for this race (but remember not to over-train!).

Although a lot of planning goes into the physical training, nutrition strategy and preparation of your bike, mental preparation is just as important. Willpower and a positive attitude are just as likely to get you through a tough stage as the latest and greatest carbon mountain bike. We suggest finding a veteran of mountain bike stage racing or previous Absa Cape Epic finisher to help guide your preparation. If you can't find someone, or need more information, we provide a number of tools to assist riders in their preparation, including a Rider Info Evening held in Cape Town.  


Top Trails To Test Your Toughness

There are a range of trails from the 2019 Absa Cape Epic route that you can make use of to better prepare yourself for what the untamed holds in store. Please ensure you have the correct permits and that you respect the farms and trails so that we can continue to use them for many years to come.  Be safe and have fun!

Urgent Note:  You are not allowed to traverse on private land, please respect our landowners privacy and property. 

StageRoute InformationPermit Information

To ride on Table Mountain you need a permit from SANParks.  Click here to download the GPS practice route.

Permit can be purchased from SANParks kiosks around Cape Town
Stage 1 Hermanus Adventure Trails

Permit can be purchased at the Wine Village, Hermanus

Stage 2 Wildekrans Trails Permit can be purchased at Wildekrans Wine Estate
Stage 3 Lebanon Trails Permit can be purchased at Oak Lane
Stage 2,3 and 4 Paul Cluver Trails Permits can be purchased at Paul Cluver
Stage 4 Time Trial will be a loop in Oak Valley and Paul Cluver.  The GPS practise route can be downloaded here.  Please respect other riders using the trails.  Keep left, pass right. Permits must be can be purchased at either Oak Valley or Paul Cluver
Stage 5 Grabouw Country Club  Permits can be purchased at Grabouw Country Club 
Stage 5 Helderberg Trails Permits can be purchased at The Hanger Bike Company and at Helderberg Farm on weekends/after hour
Stage 5 and 6 Stellenbosch Trail Fund Trails in Coetzenburg, Eden Trails, Paradyskloof Trails and Mont Marie Trails Riders can contribute to the trail fund using Snapscan at the different information points on route
Stage 6 Simonsberg & Klapmutskop Trails Permits can be purchased at Dirtopia Trail Centre
Stage 7 Jonkershoek Trails Permits can be purchased at the entrance gate
Stage 7 Boschendal Trails Permits can be purchased at Boschendal Trail Centre

Training Program

The 2019 Absa Cape Epic is fast approaching and Virgin Active has your training covered. As the Official Exercise Partner, our job is to provide you with the training you need to get across that finish line. And this year, we’re taking our programme to a whole new level. 

As usual, this year’s programme was developed by Ignus Oosthuizen, our National Group Exercise Manager, 3-time Absa Cape Epic conqueror, and competitive cyclist both on the road and off it. What’s unusual is that this year Ignus has teamed up with Richard “The Coach” Woolrich, Virgin Active Personal Trainer and former top-50-in-the-world professional triathlete. His client list includes multiple competitors, and one past winner of the Absa Cape Epic.

We’re stoked to bring you the 2019 Absa Cape Epic Training Program which includes a detailed 5-month periodised training plan, cross-training plan, and nutrition tips from Woolworths that will benefit any mountain biker looking to up their game.

Download the training program here.


Tips from 10 times finisher - Ben van Niekerk

Your Riding Partner

Life still happens

What to pack

What bike

How to tackle the race


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