Coronavirus: Cape Epic to go ahead as scheduled

Cape Epic is not in peril due to coronavirus
Coronavirus has not yet penetrated the Western Cape mountains, in South Africa (Image credit: Cape Epic)

Coronavirus is severely disrupting the European race season, but the world’s most testing mountain bike race is still unaffected.

The 2020 Cape Epic is keeping abreast of health warnings, yet South Africa has not seen anything like the extreme public gathering constraints applied in Europe.

“We are monitoring the situation with public health officials and authorities, including the South Africa Department of Health. At this stage, the Western Cape Government does not propose altering arrangements for public events, and therefore we will be proceeding with the Cape Epic as planned.”

Whereas Italy is now virtually in lockdown, South Africa has only experienced a few coronavirus infections.

The Cape Epic is scheduled to start this coming Sunday and organisers are mindful of the event’s diversity of riders. With many competitors flying in from Europe, Cape Epic race directors have reminded riders to apply the highest levels of personal hygiene in their home countries and when they are present at the event.

In the very unlikely scenario that the 2020 Cape Epic is called off, teams will forego their entry fees, as per the event’s standing rule on refunds due to a total race cancellation.

Riders from outside South Africa are reminded to familiarise themselves with travel restrictions from their country of origins. 

There have been seven confirmed Covid-19 cases in South Africa from people returning from a ski trip in Italy - but the cases are in KwaZulu-Natal on the eastern side of the country far away from the Western Cape region, where the Cape Epic is held. The Western Cape has not had any coronavirus cases. As such, the local government has not felt compelled to institute any severe policies which could disrupt the race.

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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.