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2020 Stage 1

Monday, March 16, 2020
Distance
98km
Climbing
1800m
Start Location
Ceres
Finish Location
Ceres
 

 

 

Saddle Up

Not since 2013 has Stage 1 of the Absa Cape Epic dipped below the 100-kilometre mark. It is definitely no play-day though. Hard work lies ahead to harvest the rewards of the exceptional Eselfontein trails. After a relatively easy start to the stage, the first singletrack climb is fortuitously wider than most, actually allowing for overtaking opportunities. Two more singletrack climbs follow, including the ascent of the Dead Man Walking climb to the race’s first Dimension Data Hotspot. The singletrack from the summit is the day’s Land Rover Technical Terrain, Pipeline. A final loop, from the central water and spectator point complex on the Eselfontein farm, takes in more scintillating singletracks including some of the oldest purpose-built mountain biking trails in the country.  

Land Rover Technical Terrain: Pipeline

With so many fantastic, and lest we neglect to mention, technical trails on the Eselfontein Farm, narrowing it down was not easy. Pipeline is long, at 3 kilometres, and challenging for much of that distance. Rocks jut haphazardly from the hard-baked clay surface, requiring absolute concentration, while the sweeping bends necessitate that you carry speed at all times to avoid being caught flat.