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More cash for 2011 Epic

The Absa Cape Epic, the most televised mountain bike race in the world, has announced an increased prize purse of R500┬á000 for 2011’s eighth edition of the event, which consolidates the event’s position as largest prize purse in the world of endurance mountain biking.

Says Kevin Vermaak, founder and director of the Absa Cape Epic: ÔÇ£We’d like to honour the effort that so many of the world’s top riders make to ride the race, travelling from around the world to be here. The Absa Cape Epic is by far the highest payout of any race in South Africa, road or mountain bike, and I’m happy that we can do this for cycling in South Africa.ÔÇØ

The organisers plan to increase the prize money of the Cape Epic going forward. Vermaak continues: ÔÇ£I’m proud that we’ve created a business model that allows for the richest prize purse in world mountain biking to be awarded in South Africa. Professional mountain biking is nothing like professional golf, but I’d like the Cape Epic to raise the stakes in mountain biking in the same way that the Million Dollar Golf tournament did in golf back in 1981.

“Although it’s no longer the case today, back in the eighties the winner of the Million Dollar might have taken home more than the total winnings of the US PGA Tour leader. If South Africa could do this in the world of golf 30 years ago, with the help of some incredible sponsors and supporters of the race, we can also do this in the world of mountain biking.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Even if we have all the world champions on the start line, the race remains absolutely achievable for anyone that sets his or her mind to do it. And riding alongside the world’s best is something you can only do at the Absa Cape Epic. Perhaps what is even more important to the amateurs that come from all over the world is the quality of the route and of our event services. This remains the core of what we’re about,ÔÇØ Vermaak concludes.

The Absa Cape Epic, the largest full-service mountain bike stage race in the world, is organised and presented with the participating riders at the focal point. Their satisfaction, well-being and enjoyment of the race are the organisers’ primary goals.

The dramatic new route of the eighth edition of the Absa Cape Epic presented by adidas, which takes place from 27 March to 3 April next year (2011), will be as challenging as previous years.

Both local and international mountain biking enthusiasts will be taking on the demanding eight-day mountain bike adventure of 707km with 14 550m of climbing from Tokai to Lourensford.

The route, which changes significantly each year, will lead 1 200 cyclists through vast distances of virgin territory, previously untouched by the race. With its challenging and exhilarating landscapes, the stage locations of Tulbagh, Worcester and Oak Valley await the most prestigious mountain bike stage race in the world, before riders again finish at the Lourensford Wine Estate as has been tradition since 2007.

One of the most visited tourist attractions in the southern hemisphere, the Victoria & Alfred (V&A) Waterfront, will again play host to the opening celebrations and registration for this pioneering, tough and breathtaking mountain bike race on 25 and 26 March 2011.

For the second time in the Absa Cape Epic’s history, riders will compete in a prologue. A common feature in grand road cycling tours, the prologue in the Tokai Forest, part of Table Mountain National Park, will allow spectators to see teams race against the clock. Regarded as the Eden of mountain biking in Cape Town, this revered network of trails represents all of what makes this sport so great, with tough climbs, fast descents and flowing single-track forming the 27km route. This showcase event will decide which teams will wear the coveted zebra-striped leaders’ jerseys at the start of Stage One on Monday, 28 March 2011, in Tulbagh.

Says Vermaak: ÔÇ£The Absa Cape Epic has again selected some of the best terrain that the Western Cape has to offer. Our route designer, Leon Evans or as he is best known amongst riders, Dr Evil, has again found the perfect balance between exciting trails, challenging terrain and wider vistas in the pursuit of the ultimate mountain biking experience.ÔÇØ

The stages of the 2011 Cape Epic
Stage 1 – Tulbagh to Tulbagh (89km with 2┬á050m of climbing)
Stage 2: Tulbagh to Tulbagh (104km and 2 300m of climbing)
Stage 3 – Tulbagh to Worcester (125 km and 1┬á900m of climbing)
Stage 4 – Worcester to Worcester (32km with 800m of climbing)
Stage 5 – Worcester to Oak Valley (143km with 2┬á350m of climbing)
Stage 6 – Oak Valley to Oak Valley (128km with 2┬á700m of climbing)
Final stage
Stage 7 – Oak Valley to Lourensford (59km with 1┬á700m of climbing)