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  1. I'm not normally compelled to write a blog or contribute to a forum, but I thought that I should share my experience of this year's Epic on the Banting or LCHF (Low Carb High Fat) diet. I was repeatedly told before the event that it is not recommended to ride this gruelling event without carbs, that I would surely run out of energy and suffer. Even the race nutritionist from Woolies echoed these sentiments. I have been eating no sugar or carbs for the past 18 months and have done some events like the Sani2C and other marathon races throughout last year and the beginning of this year without any energy issues... but almost 7 ultras in a row? That was the question and it seriously stressed me out before this year's Epic. I searched all over the internet to get answers and advice, but not much there and a lot of contradicting information. Yes, no, maybe. Make up your minds, would you? I decided to stick to my nutrition and persevered. My teammate (a carb-muncher) and I trained together and were basically riding at the same level and had similar fitness going into this race, so it would be a good comparison. I'm also no racing snake, so was not aiming for a podium or top 100 finish. I was aiming to finish before the cut-off times each day... full stop. We trained to ride at 75% to 85% of max HR. So this is how it went... We finished in 299th GC (just in the top half out of 621 teams) and 89th in the Masters - we're both in our mid forties. I was amazed at how strong I felt throughout the race (all 8 days). Especially strong at the finishing stages of each day, where many teams were backing off and struggling to finish. I ended up always driving my teammate to the finish as he was finding it harder to fuel himself towards the end of each stage, especially during the latter stages of the event. I also did some pushing up-hills and creating a draft/slipstream during the windy stages. Also, it looked like my recovery was faster as I started pretty fresh each next day, unlike my partner. The water points did not cater for low carb at all, so I carried my own nutrition throughout the race: 1. Almonds and dry berry mix 2. Cabanossi (nice and fatty) 3. Home made fat-bomb gels in a squeezee bottle (macadamia nut butter, coconut oil, cocoa, and a dash of honey)... YUM! 4. Low-carb rehydration (electrolyte) mix - I used a combination of USN Zero Carb Rehydrator and Drip-Drop (medical grade rehydration supplement powder I recently discovered) I also found that I did not eat any more than I would have during my normal daily routine, with moderate training. My typical evening meals were steak, lamb or pork and veggies. Fatty bacon and eggs for breakfast (of course) So, it worked for me. In fact, I have never felt stronger during previous long races / rides and still have no idea why I felt so good during this Epic. I can't attribute my strength to the diet alone as we did put in a lot of training, but I have been riding for in excess of 20 years and have never felt this level of sustained energy and endurance for such a long time. So, the long and short of it is that it is VERY POSSIBLE to do a great Epic on the Banting diet. As long as you have some body fat... you have fuel.
  2. Can't believe this thread hasn't appeared yet.. Here is 2014 Epic Elite : Specs at: http://www.specialized.com/es/en/bikes/mountain/epic/14epicepicfsrelitecarbon
  3. Hi Guys Before posting a for sale ad, keen on some technical info - if there is indeed ANY market for a nice set of Shimano XT STI Dual Control combo - (brake and gear lever combo), off of an older SPEZ S-Works Epic? they would work with cantilever brakes, and both my Spez frames have got the brazed on 'BOSS' for cantilever brakes, but I am now running hydraulic disks set up.... Anyone advise me? Are there guys who rebuild/restore period-correct, pre-Disk MTB's? Cheers Chris
  4. Hi all, I have come across an urgent advert on Facebook where a person is trying to sell a Specialized Epic (Black and red) Please follow the link below to see the advert, especially if your bike was recently stolen. The bike is currently located in Rustenburg, North West. https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/864935731019097/
  5. Might as well get the show on the road... 1) Any Saffers registered and signed up for Swiss Epic 2020? 2) Will the event go ahead? So far I have been told it will... If you have done it previously, what advice(s) do you have? Do we book an extra days accommodation prior to the race, massage, service, places to stay, transport and transfers, etc...? ????
  6. Hi Guys, It's time to upgrade my MTB. Looking at getting a Full Sus 29'er and have a budget of around 30k. I mostly do XC and Marathon style riding. Hoping to do some stage races like Wines2Whales and Sani. Was keen on the Specialized Epic Comp (Aluminium Frame) which was on special for R30k but unfortunately they all sold out before I could get my hands on one... So need some advice relating to other brands and options. What advice do you guys have in terms of 1. Going second hand? Heard some scary stories about expensive repairs to the shocks... 2. Specialized. Would love to get an Epic. But not sure about the Brain and the 150hr services I'll need to send it away for. Any experience with this? ....Kinda wanna just get one anyway 3. Momsen? I've seen some pretty good deals on their bikes. But their frame guarantee is only for 3 years? Anyone have any experience with their VIPA RACE ONE? Seriously considering getting this one since I'm not so sure an Epic at around 30k is realistic. Thanks in advance guys. Will appreciate any insight or experience!
  7. Hi guys, If anybody needs a last minute rider please let me know. I’m available. Completed the 2019 Cape Epic. Send me DM for full rider profile/info. Regards Johan Cape Town
  8. Looking for a rider to complete a team due to recently injured partner. Intermediate level rider from Spain, with good MTB experience and completed stage races. This opportunity includes caravan sleeping package
  9. Dear Valued Hubbers, We are honoured to be competing at the 2019 ABSA Cape Epic mountain bike race, in support of CANSA. (www.cansa.org.za) Our goal is to help raise awareness and funds for CANSA in support of their fight against cancer. We are very grateful to be offered this opportunity to help those who are affected by this disease, and we wish to contribute to this cause. We can do so with your support - together we can make a difference! We therefore kindly ask that you please support our cause and the fight against cancer, by making a donation, no matter how small - every cent helps, to CANSA at the following link: https://www.givengain.com/ap/cansaheroes/# (all proceeds will go directly into CANSA's bank account). We are also selling advertising space on our racing kit to companies who wish to donate to this cause. All proceeds will go directly to CANSA, who will in return issue tax certificates to donating companies. Please share with all your family and friends. Also follow us for upcoming fundraiser events! Many thanks for your kind support! Riaan van Wyk & Jacques Lotriet
  10. How well would a 120mm travel fork work on a 2015 model Specialized Epic? Anyone who's tried this, or has seen it done? Bought the bike 2nd hand last year after a few years on my trusty Scott hardtail and have been enjoying how nicely the Epic balances comfort of full suspension vs keeping a "racy feel". I'm by no means a racing snake or trail machine, but I enjoy mixing up Jonkershoek/OakValley/Welvanpas in-between longer "dirty roady" type routes. I find though that the 100mm travel upfront is a little lacking on some trails and reckon 120mm would make a big difference. Buying a Spez Camber (or similar alternative brand model) not an option - because let's face it, bikes have become silly expensive, and I really like the Epic as a general purpose type bike. How would going from 100 to 120mm affect the Epic? The obvious points would be slightly slacker headtube angle, and slight increase in bike front height requiring saddle & stem adjustments. Any risks or potential issues I might be missing?
  11. All of the top 5 stories are admirable in their own right! What sets us apart or why vote for us..... We cycled the farthest distance. We endured for the longest period of time with no sponsors or on the ground support. We encountered countless set backs (physically, mentally and mechanically) however we chose to leave that out of our story as there are many people out there suffering or dealing with more than us. It is the sheer magnitude of our adventure that we CONQUERED AS ONE, through a love of cycling and making a difference. We are strong and healthy cyclists. We hope to use our entry, should we win it, to raise funds once again for our charity, HOKISA. Please vote here for my brother Cecil Bosman .... http://www.bicycling.co.za/sponsored/vote-favourite-absa-conquerasone-finalist/
  12. A pedigree that boasts more World Cup, World Championship, Olympic, and Cape Epic wins than we can count—if a bike were the sum of its accolades, the Epic would sit atop the throne. And to make sure of it, our new Epic features a completely redesigned, ultra-lightweight frame, confidence-inspiring geometry, and a totally new Brain rear shock that’s engineered to read the terrain for the most efficient ride possible, making it the fastest XC bike on the planet. Key features It's Lighter Rider-First EngineeredTM frame that saves *up to 525 grams, while also maintaining stiffness. Not an easy task—yes, that is frame weight alone (*Pro, Expert, and Comp frames). It's Smarter New Brain 2.0 is completely redesigned. Sitting closer to the rear axle for improved bump responsiveness and a new layout and oil flow path for more consistent damping control and bump performance. It's Faster Longer reach, slacker head tube, & custom fork offset creates a better handling package. Climbing or descending, stability, and confidence are no longer afterthoughts.
  13. Last time I got in a lot of trouble for saying obvious things like : "This tread is for people preparing for the Epic only" I'm not gonna do that this time.... Please share your info and knowledge on gear, training, nutrition ect ect! Also, don't forget your sense of humor Good luck with everyone's preparation!!
  14. The day begins with a neutral start through Grabouw, takes riders round the Eikenhof dam and then down Viljoen’s Pass. They will also cut through pristine fynbos past Theewaterskloof Dam, where they might want to keep an eye out for the herds of eland crossing the plains. Then it is over the pass, through some twists and turns around Franschhoek and some small climbs that take you past Victor Verster prison and the iconic statue of Nelson Mandela taking his first steps to freedom. And finally, 651kms after starting in Meerendal and after 14 550m of vertical gain, the finish line awaits at Val de Vie. Stage 7 route profile Follow the racingLearn about the many ways you can keep up to date with the Absa Cape Epic action here. Live stream Watch the Absa Cape Epic live stream below:https://livestream.com/accounts/18093409/events/7142799/ Daily Prize: Stage 7 Two night stays for two people at any Tsogo Sun hotel in the Western Cape. Breakfast included. Tsogo Sun is the leading hotels, gaming and entertainment company in South Africa, providing a variety of hospitality and exciting entertainment and leisure experiences. Tsogo Sun is proud to be the Official Hotel Partner to the 2017 Absa Cape Epic.Check your Epic Fantasy League progress here (it's not too late to enter for the daily prizes). For more information, visit www.tsogosun.com
  15. This year the Absa Cape Epic finishes for the first time at Val de Vie and its renowned polo fields – the fourth host for the Grand Finale in the race’s 14 editions. After leaving Oak Valley the finish is just 85km away and the riders have the least climbing to do on any day of the 2017 Absa Cape Epic. They will, however, be well advised to keep some energy in spare for the climb up the Franschhoek Pass after about 40km. That seven kilometre haul rises nearly 400m, marking the last major climb of the 2017 Absa Cape Epic. Click here to view the article
  16. That confrontation with the race’s most notorious climb comes 20km into the 2017 route’s Queen Stage and after some gentle climbs to warm up the legs. Then it is more rocky trail across the back of the Groenlandberg and another tough climb on an unstable surface before a sweeping descent, a bump or two and some short singletrack takes you under the N2. This is rocky terrain so riders need to be careful: punctures could ruin their day. Then it is time to explore the south side of the Grabouw district. Riders will loop through the Kogelberg Nature Reserve – one of 400 unique biosphere reserves in the world – and private farmland before heading back under the N2 via Lebanon’s flowing singletracks. The last climb from Thandi Wine Estate takes riders back to Oak Valley and another burst of singletrack sections before the finish. Stage 6 route profile Follow the racingLearn about the many ways you can keep up to date with the Absa Cape Epic action here. Live stream Watch the Absa Cape Epic live stream below:https://livestream.com/accounts/18093409/events/7142788/ Daily Prize: Stage 6 Oakley Sliver Sunglasses. A timeless sleek design made even more lightweight with sculptural reliefs on the earstems, Sliver takes advantage of our durable yet gravity-defying O Matter frame material while letting innovative technologies like XYZ Optics throw their weight around.Check your Epic Fantasy League progress here (it's not too late to enter for the daily prizes). For more information please visit: www.oakley.com
  17. A couple more climbs – watch out for some washed-out sections on the descents – as the course weaves across the hills above Grabouw and then you are in singletrack heaven. You will do most of the A-to-Z trail network above the Elgin/Grabouw Country Club and around the Eikenhof Dam, and then the renowned trails on Paul Cluver Estate and Oak Valley while heading back to the race village. Stage 5 route profile Follow the racingLearn about the many ways you can keep up to date with the Absa Cape Epic action here. Live stream Watch the Absa Cape Epic live stream below:https://livestream.com/accounts/18093409/events/7142782/ Daily Prize: Stage 5 Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR is an advanced multisport GPS watch sporting wrist heart rate measurement, color touch screen, 100m water resistance and up to 12h of battery life in training mode. Spartan Sport comes with 80 pre-set sport modes and rich sport specific metrics.Check your Epic Fantasy League progress here (it's not too late to enter for the daily prizes). For more information please visit: www.suunto.com
  18. There’s always a fun day at the Absa Cape Epic, and barring bad weather this should be it. First there are a few climbs to negotiate, including a particularly nasty one that has concrete strips for traction and then the legendary Nuweberg from the east side. Click here to view the article
  19. On each day of the Absa Cape Epic, the team of skilled photographers create spectacular images for us to enjoy. Bike Hub will be holding a competition to recognise their hard work and give you the chance to win a signed copy of your favourite photograph. Take a look at the selection of photographs from the Absa Cape Epic Stage 2 and vote for your favourite to go into the finals. Click here to view the article
  20. In the fairness of voting, the photographers will remain anonymous until the voting period has closed. Click here to vote. Photo 1: Kim Ludbrook The professional peloton start Stage 2 of the 2017 Absa Cape Epic mountain bike stage race over 62km, Hermanus, South Africa, 21 March 2017. The race is called the 'Tour de France' of mountain biking and sees 1200 riders racing over 691km during 8 stages and climbing twice the height of Mount Everest. The race sees the world's best professional riders racing with amateur riders from 52 countries. Photo 2: Nick Muzik It’s a two-person team race, stick together. Photo 3: Greg Beadle This image encapsulates how The Cape Epic traverses a variety of landscapes. A section of district road now with mountains awaiting the riders ahead. Photo 4: Mark Sampson The race is about the human spirit enduring over distance, heat, fatigue injuries and anything else the untamed African mountain bike race throws at you. Two riders silhouetted against the terrain illustrating the expanse territory covered. Photo 5: Sam Clark The Cape Epic: a race so tough even the pros need to get off and push at times Photo 6: Ewald Sadie Flat out racing as Manuel Fumic and Henrique Avancini lead Nino Schurter and Matthias Stirnemann down the fast, open gravel roads towards Caledon during stage 2 of the Cape Epic from Hermanus to Greyton. Photo 7: Michal Červený Photo 8: Dom Barnardt Click here to vote. How it worksEvery day each photographer will submit their favourite shot with a short note explaining its context. Each day’s winning photograph will go through to the “finals” on Wednesday, March 29. You will then get an opportunity to vote for the overall winner, who will get a R10 000 prize. The result will be announced on Monday, April 3, and voters who chose the winning picture will go into a lucky draw for a signed and framed version of the photograph. For more information on the Cape Epic Photo Competition and to meet the Absa Cape Epic photographers click here.
  21. Then there is some relief on the Lover’s Lane Descent before cutting through the Klipheuwel-Dassiefontein Wind Energy Facility near Caledon. There riders can marvel at the 100m-high wind turbines with their 58m blades standing like massive sentinels on the hill. Soon after that they will get a sample of the twisting trails at Wildekraans before heading across to the old Houw Hoek Pass (constructed in 1904 and also known as the River Pass because it follows the course of the Jakkals River). Then it is past the Houw Hoek Inn – nearly 200 years old and reputedly the oldest country hotel in South Africa –and on to Oak Valley Wine Estate for a good night’s rest. Stage 4 route profile Follow the racingLearn about the many ways you can keep up to date with the Absa Cape Epic action here. Live stream Watch the Absa Cape Epic live stream below:https://livestream.com/accounts/18093409/events/7142779 Daily Prize: Stage 4 Absa Cape Epic branded Amped Avid X 10,000mAh battery pack and Columbia Sportswear online shopping vouchers to the value of R2500.Check your Epic Fantasy League progress here (it's not too late to enter for the daily prizes). For more information about Amped visit: www.amped.co.za For more information about Columbia Sportswear visit: www.columbiasportswear.co.za
  22. Christoph Sauser of Investec-Songo-Specialized beats Matthias Stirnemann of SCOTT-SRAM MTB Racing to the line to win stage 3 with partner Jaroslav Kulhavy of Investec-Songo-Specialized during stage 3 of the 2017 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race held from Elandskloof near Greyton, South Africa on the 22nd March 2017. Photo by Shaun Roy/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS Second on Stage 3, which ended in a sprint finish, were Nino Schurter and Matthias Stirnemann (SCOTT-SRAM MTB Racing), with third-place going to Nicola Rohrbach and Daniel Geismayr (Centurion Vaude 2). Stage 3 was a relatively short 78km that took riders out of the Elandskloof race village towards Genadendal and through the Greyton network of mountain bike trails. It was a day for the cross-country specialists to rise to the occasion, with Schurter and Stirneman duly obliging. Jaroslav Kulhavy of Investec Songo Specialized during stage 3 of the 2017 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race. Photo by Nick Muzik/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS The pair, who had picked the stage for a potential win, were aggressive on the climbs and descents, causing overall leaders Cannondale to drop off the pace a number of times. But the Olympic champion and his partner just couldn’t shake off the imposing presence of Sauser and Kulhavy. Sitting patiently and biding their time, Investec-Songo-Specialized made the decisive attack on the final big climb of the day (the UFO climb, so named because of a bizarre building at the top). As they pushed, Cannondale Factory Racing XC dropped back and were forced into a helter skelter descent to make up time. Sauser and Kulhavy simply kept their cool, and ensured that the stage would go down to a two-team sprint. With Kulhavy in front and Schurter second, Stirneman misjudged the location of the finish line and started sprinting too early, allowing Sauser to power past. "That was a good day for us,” said a relaxed Sauser. “We managed to make good progress and win the stage. It was only a short day so we weren't expecting to eat too much time into the Cannondale Factory Racing XC guys, but we did so we’ll take the win and that little bonus. “Our plan was always to put in some extra effort up the last climb of the day in the hope that we could split the bunch, and that seemed to work. The Cannondale guys were chasing hard, but we could tell that they were on the rivet. We were then able to go down nice and conservatively; there are some horrible, sharp rocks there and the last thing we wanted was a flat or a crash.” Kulhavy, who looked incredibly fresh when crossing the line, added, "That was a much better day than yesterday. Our plan was to attack on the climbs and the flats; that worked well for us today.” For the SCOTT-SRAM MTB Racing team, it was a case of what might have been. They worked hard all day, only for a minor miscalculation to rob them of a stage win (though Schurter clearly enjoyed the dice; after crossing the line he immediately embraced Sauser with a big hug and bigger smile). Nino Schurter of SCOTT-SRAM MTB Racing reacts after Christoph Sauser of Investec-Songo-Specialized beat his partner to win stage 3 during stage 3 of the 2017 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race. Photo by Shaun Roy/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS “This was a shorter stage, so Nino and I felt like it would suit us better,” said Stirnemann. “We want to win a stage every day, but this was one we thought that we could take. I thought we had it in the end, but I started sprinting for the finish too early; I didn't know where it was! That's when Susi passed me at the very last second. I enjoyed the ride, though. The whole day was very nice, with great riding.” With a long day tomorrow - 112km from Elandskloof to Oak Valley in Elgin - the overall leaders will have their work cut out for them. Especially after a day when not everything went their way. "That was tough. But we survived,” said Avancini. “For the first half we had it under control. But Jaroslav and Christoph were really strong on the climbs and the flats. That's where we lost it a bit. Mannie was also clipped by a bike towards the end, which slowed us down slightly. It was a hard day for us but we fought hard and we'll carry on fighting to the very last day.” Stage 4 will certainly suit the big engine of Jaroslav Kulhavy and the nous of Sauser, so if Cannondale Factory Racing XC are to hold on to their slender lead of one minute and 20 seconds, they’ll have to fight all the way. Jaroslav Kulhavy and Christoph Sauser of Investec Songo Specialized take the stage win during stage 3 of the 2017 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race. Photo by Nick Muzik/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS Stage Results 1. Investec-Songo-Specialized 3-1 Christoph Sauser (Switzerland) 3-2 Jaroslav Kulhavy (Czech Republic) 3:03.46,0 2. SCOTT-SRAM MTB Racing 5-1 Nino Schurter (Switzerland) 5-2 Matthias Stirnemann (Switzerland) 3:03.46,4 +0,4 3. Centurion Vaude 2 16-1 Nicola Rohrbach (Switzerland) 16-2 Daniel Geismayr (Austria) 3:03.54,5 +8,5Overall Results 1. Cannondale Factory Racing XC 8-1 Manuel Fumic (Germany) 8-2 Henrique Avancini (Brazil) 11:05.51,4 2. Investec-Songo-Specialized 3-1 Christoph Sauser (Switzerland) 3-2 Jaroslav Kulhavy (Czech Republic) 11:07.11,6 +1.20,2 3. SCOTT-SRAM MTB Racing 5-1 Nino Schurter (Switzerland) 5-2 Matthias Stirnemann (Switzerland) 11:09.55,2 +4.03,8 4. Kansai Plascon 7-1 Hector Leonardo Paez Leon (Colombia) 7-2 Max Knox (South Africa) 11:15.23,5 +9.32,1 5. Centurion Vaude 2 16-1 Nicola Rohrbach (Switzerland) 16-2 Daniel Geismayr (Austria) 11:15.59,4 +10.08,0 6. Bulls 1-1 Karl Platt (Germany) 1-2 Urs Huber (Switzerland) 11:21.47,6 +15.56,2 7. Centurion Vaude 6-1 Jochen Kaess (Germany) 6-2 Markus Kaufmann (Germany) 11:24.20,2 +18.28,8 8. Topeak Ergon Racing 4-1 Alban Lakata (Austria) 4-2 Kristian Hynek (Czech Republic) 11:26.45,6 +20.54,2 9. Scott-SRAM Young Guns 18-1 Michiel Van der Heijden (Netherlands) 18-2 Andri Frischknecht (Switzerland) 11:30.26,1 +24.34,7 10. PYGA Euro Steel 9-1 Philip Buys (South Africa) 9-2 Matthys Beukes (South Africa) 11:32.43,0 +26.51,6
  23. On each day of the Absa Cape Epic, the team of skilled photographers create spectacular images for us to enjoy. Bike Hub will be holding a competition to recognise their hard work and give you the chance to win a signed copy of your favourite photograph. Take a look at the selection of photographs from the Absa Cape Epic Stage 1 and vote for your favourite to go into the finals. Click here to view the article
  24. In the fairness of voting, the photographers will remain anonymous until the voting period has closed. Click here to vote. Photo 1: Greg Beadle This image gives a sense of what riders experienced today.After climbing the Haarkappers zig zag route they were treated to expansive views towards Stanford and Hermanus. Photo 2: Nick Muzik The Classic Cape Epic district road. Photo 3: Kim Ludbrook Photo 4: Sam Clark Group A head out of Hermanus for a challenging Stage 1 of the 2017 Cape Epic. Photo 5: Dom Barnardt Photo 6: Mark Sampson I had found a good spot to wait for the ladies. I didn't know about Sabine's crash but as they passed I noticed the blood. Jumping up I had to run and manages to capture this the second time. Only through sheer determination did she make it to the end #RESPECT Photo 7: Ewald Sadie Photo 8: Michal Červený Mariske Strauss and Annie Last leads the chase trying to reduce the gap to the 2nd and 3rd place UCI Womens category during stage 1 of the 2017 Absa Cape Epic in Hermanus, South Africa on the 20th March 2017. Click here to vote. How it worksEvery day each photographer will submit their favourite shot with a short note explaining its context. Each day’s winning photograph will go through to the “finals” on Thursday, March 30. You will then get an opportunity to vote for the overall winner, who will get a R10 000 prize. The result will be announced at 5PM on Tuesday, April 4, and voters who chose the winning picture will go into a lucky draw for a signed and framed version of the photograph. For more information on the Cape Epic Photo Competition and to meet the Absa Cape Epic photographers click here.
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