The 2017 Absa Cape Epic route has been revealed!
In 2017 the Absa Cape Epic returns to an old favourite seaside venue for a spectacular Stage 1 … and finishes at a new Grand Finale venue.
After the Prologue at Meerendal Wine Estate the riders, crew and supporters will transfer to Hermanus for the first staging of the race in the coastal town since 2008. In the intervening years the area has been turned into something of a mountain biking mecca, with a network of trails snaking across the nearby hills and valleys.
A week later the event will finish for the first time at the renowned Val de Vie Estate near Franschhoek.
The 2017 route will take riders through 691 km of Western Cape countryside and up a lot of hills: the accumulated vertical gain over the eight days will be 15 400m.
The Prologue will again be held on the Meerendal Wine Estate trails and include parts of neighbouring Hoogekraal. Then it is on to Hermanus, where the 101km opening stage starts and finishes at the local high school.
Stage 2 sees riders bidding farewell to the whales and heading inland to Greyton for two nights. Stage 3 starts and finishes in Greyton and includes most of the many trails around the quaint town.
Stage 4 is another transition day, this time from Greyton to Elgin and the race village at the Oak Valley Wine Estate. Stage 5 takes riders on a circular route around the Grabouw/Elgin area and lots of singletrack.
Riders will be well advised to enjoy Stage 5’s relatively short distance and great trails: the next day they will be confronting the 2017 route’s Queen Stage – 103km with an eye-watering 2 750m of elevation gain. This could well mean that the 6th stage could be decisive in the race for overall honours.
Stage 7 takes rider to the new Grand Finale venue – the sumptuous Val de Vie Estate near Franschhoek – and a well-deserved finisher’s shirt.