The Absa Cape Epic mountain bike stage race organizers revealed route details on the event's website for the 2012 edition to be held from March 25 to April 1. The race will again happen over eight days and be run with teams of two riders.
The 2012 edition will cover 781km with 16,300m of climbing from Meerendal Wine Estate in Durbanvilla to Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West.
The route, which changes significantly each year, will lead 1200 cyclists through vast distances of virgin territory, previously untouched by the race. The stage locations of Meerendal, Robertson, Caledon and Oak Valley (Elgin Valley) await riders, who will again finish at the Lourensford Wine Estate as has been tradition for the past six years.
Route designer Leon Evans, nicknamed Dr. Evil, was again responsible for the details including the prologue, which will again be a team time trial.
"There are no easy days in this race. Registration day is easy and the Monday after the race is easy. Anyone who thinks there's anything easy about the Absa Cape Epic, is a fool. My job is to make sure that no rider, in any previous edition of the race, can say, 'The 2012 Epic riders had it easy'," said Dr. Evil.
"Our aim is not to make the route tougher each year just for the sake of it," said Race Director Kevin Vermaak. "We aim to offer participants from around the world an awesome trail that showcases the best that the Western Cape has to offer. We want new routes, with suitable technical and challenging riding, that take the riders to new towns whilst at the same time giving them the most beautiful and remote scenery, with wild animals to boot. Without the incredible support of Cape Nature Conservation, this would not be possible as they give us access to their reserves."
Much of the Cape Epic route passes through private lands, which are only open to racers during the event.
The 2011 edition of the Cape Epic was won by Christoph Sauser and Burry Stander (36ONE-Songo-Specialized). Sally Bigham and Karien van Jaarsveld (USN) took top honors among the women.
Full route details follow.
2012 Cape Epic Mountain Bike Stage Race
March 25 - Prologue TTT: Meerendal in Durbanville - Meerendal in Durbanville, 27km/800m
March 26 - Stage 1: Robertson - Robertson, 115km/2350m
March 27 - Stage 2: Robertson - Robertson, 119km/1650m
March 28 - Stage 3: Roberston - Caledon, 147km/2900m
March 29 - Stage 4: Caledon - Caledon, 105km/2600m
March 30 - Stage 5: Caledon - Oak Valley in the Elgin Valley, 119km/2350m
March 31 - Stage 6: Oak Valley in the Elgin Valley - Oak Valley in the Elgin Valley, 85km/2200m
April 1 - Stage 7: Oak Valley in the Elgin Valley - Lourensford Wine Estate, 64km/1350m