Former BMC Racing duo Cadel Evans and George Hincapie will team up next March for the 2017 Cape Epic mountain bike stage race in South Africa. Hincapie retired at the end of the 2012 season, while Evans retired in February of 2015 after both riders joined BMC from 2010.
"Ever since I first heard about the Absa Cape Epic, I have wanted to try it. But they tell me it’s very hard," said Evans who was a two-time mountain bike world cup winner before starting his road career.
The eight-day race will start in Meerendaal on March 19 with both the team format of racing and South Africa a new experience for the duo. For Hincapie, it will also be his first time racing a mountain bike competitively
"| have always enjoyed riding off-road but have never really raced it, except just with mates at home," said Hincapie, who added that "Cadel made me do it … and it looks like it’s going to be an amazing adventure."
Hincapie was one of the key riders in Evans' 2011 Tour de France victory with the duo maintaining their friendship into retirement. Since retiring, Evans explained that he has spent more time on the mountain bike without the pressure of competition. However he is looking to build up his base for the race to ensure he and Hincapie will be competitive.
"I have not competed seriously since February 2015. For training reasons, I will try to get some competition in before the Absa Cape Epic," said Evans who will be eligible to race in the masters category with Hincapie.
"I am a racer, but we are competing against far more experienced riders so we have to be realistic. If George and I can put up with each other, and race hard without any major mishaps, that will be good."
The 2016 edition of the Cape Epic was won by Karl Platt and Urs Huber of Team Bulls.