“I checked the standings and realised that I might have won (the overall prize), pending confirmation on Monday,” he recalls. “On Monday it was confirmed that I had won, then I realised ‘s**t is about to get real’.”

That prize, for the most accumulated points over eight days of predicting overall and category winners in the 2017 Absa Cape Epic, was an entry into the Untamed African MTB race courtesy of USN.

Emil Stark and Louis Broodryk at sani2c.

The 46-year-old accountant from Alberton has not taken on the Absa Cape Epic before but “it was on the bucket list”.

“My partner will be my long standing partner in crime, Louis Broodryk. He got me into cycling; I will let you know if we are still mates after the Epic…,” Emil laughs.

“We are going to embrace the challenge and give it our absolute best we will give the Epic the respect that it deserves. We have now been given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I am looking forward to March 2018. At this point of time it’s a huge task that is ahead of us but as you know, you eat an elephant one bite at a time.”

Emil has been mountain biking for seven years and in that time has completed five Sani2c races. “We do most of our mounting biking by exploring the ‘deep’ south (of Gauteng) and are frequent visitors to Thaba Trails. I also spend a lot of time on my road bike.”

“We are certainly going to give The Epic the best we have. We want to finish strong and hopefully somewhere mid-pack. The emphasis will be on finishing as this is an opportunity that we don’t want to go to waste. Oh yes, and to have fun while we are doing it. The Epic is tough but I think it’s important to have fun on the way.”

He and Louis will be doing base and gym work during winter. “The serious training will in all likelihood start in August and we’ll probably round it off at the Cape Town Cycle Tour, weather permitting!”

“I would like to thank the Cape Epic, USN and Bike Hub for the wonderful opportunity,” Emil says.

He was not the only Bike Hub enthusiast thanking the race and its sponsors:

  • Daniel Jenner and Ryan MacGeoghegan were the winners of Amped Avid chargers and R2500 Columbia voucher each for their forecasts for the Prologue and Stage 4;
  • Michael Immelman and Dennis Nathrass took home Suunto Spartan multisport GPS watches for their predictions on Stages 1 and 5 respectively;
  • Two Bike Hubbers, Peter Elliott and Jaco Cockrell, will be enjoying fine accommodation thanks to Tsogo Sun and their predictions for Stages 3 and 7;
  • Jacques Leewner and Robert Leyland will be looking super cool after winning Oakley Slivers for their forecasts on Stages 2 and 6;
  • And all the winners also took home vouchers from Sport24hrs taxis.


“Ours sponsors again came to the party for us this year and their generous contributions to the Fantasy League have made a lot of people very happy,” said Absa Cape Epic Marketing and Communications Manager Sarah Harrop. “Congratulations to all the winners and we look forward to meeting Emil and Louis when they take on the race next year. Good luck with the preparation”