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Cape Epic the latest coronavirus cancellation

Stage 1 of Cape Epic gets underway in Saronsberg in 2019
Stage 1 of Cape Epic gets underway in Saronsberg in 2019 (Image credit: Sam Clark/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS)

Organisers of Cape Epic announced that the 2020 race is cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Specialized team had already withdrawn its pro teams from the event to prioritize the health of its professional riders, mechanics and staff, as global fears.

Race founder Kevin Vermaak said in a press release "I have taken this step with a heavy heart, but the health and safety of everybody involved in the event has to be paramount. 

"At 6pm today we received the formal advice from government."

Team manager Eric Fostvedt summarised Specialized’s position in withdrawing before a formal cancellation announcement. 

“It is a tough decision for us to pull out of the Cape Epic as the training has been amazing all week and working with the Songo Foundation has been so meaningful. While we head home from this year’s event, we all look forward with great anticipation to coming back to this beautiful race in 2021.”

The Specialized pairing of Annika Langvad and Jenny Rissveds were clear favourites to win the women’s race on their Specialized mountain bikes. Langvad and Rissveds have won every Cape Epic they started and their absence at the 2020 event will leave opportunities for the other women’s teams.

Specialized has a powerful record of achievement at the Cape Epic and their withdrawal is notable. It also follows on the announcement of team Trek-Pirelli not making the journey to South Africa, as the severity of coronavirus containment measures have made it impossible for the Italian team to travel.

But the Cape Epic due to start on Sunday with its picturesque prologue on the slopes of Cape Town’s Table Mountain, was cancelled by organisers.

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Lance Branquinho is a Namibian born media professional, with 15-years of experience in technology and engineering journalism covering anything with wheels. Being from Namibia, he knows a good gravel road when he sees one, and he has raced some of Africa’s best-known mountain bike stage races, such as Wines2Wales and Berg&Bush.